Podcast: PAWPAW: In Search of America’s Forgotten Fruit by Andrew Moore


[Note: Show starts at the 3 minute mark.]

Informed, passionate, even obsessed, Andrew Moore shares his love for and research about the renaissance that the Pawpaw tropical fruit is enjoying, and his new book by the same name.

Where, oh where is pretty little Susie?
Where, oh where is pretty little Susie?
Where, oh where is pretty little Susie?
Way down yonder in the paw-paw patch.

While many, especially older Americans are familiar with this folksong, few of us have actually tasted the fruit to which it pays homage. But in an earlier time, it was grown at Monticello, sustained Lewis and Clark’s expedition, inspired Whitman’s poetry, fueled escaped slaves and was fodder for Prohibition-era moonshiners. What brought about the pawpaw’s decline? Is it poised now for a renaissance? And why should we care?

In Pawpaw, Moore weaves together the folklore and the science, the culture and the horticulture of this uniquely American fruit. Used medicinally to treat ailments from cold sores to head lice for generations, the pawpaw is now being studied for its cancer-fighting properties. And small farmers and businesses are likewise experimenting with the fruit, sensing economic opportunities hidden in the pawpaw patch.

But Pawpaw also poses deeper questions: how is it that we come to eat the foods that we do, yet never know of others within an arm’s reach? How do we come to forget things our ancestors knew? And how we can lose something we never knew we had?

This program originally aired LIVE on September 16, 2015 at 4pm EST to WPRK 91.5 FM in Winter Park, FL.


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