Chelsea Green Publishing

Pawpaw

Pages:320 pages
Book Art:8-page color insert
Size: 6 x 9 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603587037
Pub. Date April 24, 2017

Pawpaw

In Search of America’s Forgotten Fruit

By Andrew Moore
Foreword by Michael W. Twitty

Availability: In Stock

Paperback

Available Date:
April 24, 2017

$19.95

The largest edible fruit native to the United States tastes like a cross between a banana and a mango. It grows wild in twenty-six states, gracing Eastern forests each fall with sweet-smelling, tropical-flavored abundance. Historically, it fed and sustained Native Americans and European explorers, presidents, and enslaved African Americans, inspiring folk songs, poetry, and scores of place names from Georgia to Illinois. Its trees are an organic grower’s dream, requiring no pesticides or herbicides to thrive, and containing compounds that are among the most potent anticancer agents yet discovered.

So why have so few people heard of the pawpaw, much less tasted one?  

In Pawpaw—a 2016 James Beard Foundation Award nominee in the Writing & Literature category—author Andrew Moore explores the past, present, and future of this unique fruit, traveling from the Ozarks to Monticello; canoeing the lower Mississippi in search of wild fruit; drinking pawpaw beer in Durham, North Carolina; tracking down lost cultivars in Appalachian hollers; and helping out during harvest season in a Maryland orchard. Along the way, he gathers pawpaw lore and knowledge not only from the plant breeders and horticulturists working to bring pawpaws into the mainstream (including Neal Peterson, known in pawpaw circles as the fruit’s own “Johnny Pawpawseed”), but also regular folks who remember eating them in the woods as kids, but haven’t had one in over fifty years. 

As much as Pawpaw is a compendium of pawpaw knowledge, it also plumbs deeper questions about American foodways—how economic, biologic, and cultural forces combine, leading us to eat what we eat, and sometimes to ignore the incredible, delicious food growing all around us. If you haven’t yet eaten a pawpaw, this book won’t let you rest until you do.

REVIEWS AND PRAISE

"I’m always eager to read a talented writer’s first book. For one thing, it’s full of the infectious passion for the subject that usually drives someone to write it in the first place. But more than that, authors devote to such books the kind of attention usually reserved for a firstborn child—they are scrutinized and fretted over to the finest detail. Pawpaw, a heartfelt paean to a native North American tree with edible fruits, is just such a book. I have been growing pawpaws since 1970, but never realized how much I didn’t know about the tree until reading Andrew Moore’s book. A skilled storyteller, Moore delves deeply into the world of pawpaws while managing to hold the reader’s interest through detail after detail. History, folklore, biology, taxonomy, hybridization, and everything else from slave sustenance to biochemical research are blended here.”--Guy Sternberg, The American Gardener

Booklist-

"The pawpaw, also sometimes called the poor man’s banana, is a common fruit growing in temperate zones across the U.S., yet it is rarely seen in the produce aisles. Hoping to shed more light on this culinary mystery, as well as inspire consumers and growers to make the fruit popular again, first-time author and gardener Moore offers both an engaging history and a thorough cultivation guide to the pawpaw. According to Moore, the shrub-like, large-leafed pawpaw tree typically grows in clumps near river bottoms along a belt running from northern Missouri to southern Louisiana and east as far as the Atlantic Ocean. Although historically pawpaw was eaten by Native Americans and slaves, it probably owes its marketplace anonymity to a short shelf life and widely variable flavors. While it remains to be seen whether Moore’s well-written paean to the pawpaw will inspire increased production and distribution to grocery stores, uninitiated readers will be intrigued enough to want to sample the fruit at the first opportunity.”

“Here is proof that culinary odysseys don’t always need to involve globetrotting or the pursuit of rare, exotic foodstuffs. But, then again, in his pursuit of the lowly American pawpaw, Andrew Moore reminds us that America was once considered an exotic destiny on its own, and has always had more than its fair share of culinary rarities.”--Damon Lee Fowler, author of Essentials of Southern Cooking and Beans, Greens, & Sweet Georgia Peaches

“Tropical growers have many shade crops to choose from, like cacao and coffee. Here in eastern North America we have our own luscious fruit for shady places—the pawpaw. Andrew Moore’s Pawpaw tells the story of this fruit and the people working to bring it to our gardens, markets, and restaurants. It’s the story of an eastern native fruit on its way to domestication, finally earning the place in our hearts and our cuisine that it deserves.”--Eric Toensmeier, author of Paradise Lot and Perennial Vegetables

"Andrew Moore has done an amazing job demystifying one of America’s most misunderstood and neglected fruits. Pawpaw deftly navigates between his own personal journey and the facts and history of the fruit, leaving readers—including chefs interested in heritage and tradition—with a true sense of how important it is to embrace this indigenous treasure."--Travis Milton, chef and co-owner of Shovel and Pick, Richmond, Virginia

“This book took me on an enchanting and engaging ride through the history, folklore, and science of a neglected but magical food plant. Andrew Moore shows us, in delightful prose and a wealth of fascinating stories, the role that the under-appreciated pawpaw has played in North American culture. I was constantly surprised to learn of the quiet influence the pawpaw has had on the people and environment around it, and like the author, am hopeful that it can find its rightful place among the better-known fruits that we all love.”--Toby Hemenway, author of Gaia’s Garden and The Permaculture City

“Like a gumshoe detective, Andrew Moore tracks down a mystery at once horticultural and culinary: Why is the pawpaw, America’s largest indigenous fruit, so little known? The answer, like the fruit’s beguiling taste, proves multi-layered and slippery, and after reading Moore’s engaging account, I’m ready to light out for pawpaw country myself in search of this homegrown original.”--Langdon Cook, author of The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America

“This book is a love song, singing the praises of a unique, delicious, and once-abundant fruit that has been sadly neglected. Andrew Moore takes us on a very personal journey investigating how and why North America's largest indigenous fruit largely disappeared, and documenting efforts to revive it. Pawpaw is a pleasure to read, and if you do you'll probably find yourself searching for and loving these delectable fruits.”--Sandor Ellix Katz, author of The Art of Fermentation

“America, get ready for pawpaw mania! Andrew Moore’s book tells the definitive story of the wild fruit that is part of our nation’s heritage, and in the process the author joins the ranks of food-preservationist heroes. Prepare to be overwhelmed with longing for the sweet scent and taste of the pawpaw.”--Poppy Tooker, host of Louisiana Eats!

Pawpaw: In Search of America’s Forgotten Fruit is a fun and well-researched, informative romp through the culture and horticulture of this uncommon fruit. Uncommon, yes, but who would have imagined that there were and are quite a few other pawpaw nuts out there? If you don’t know pawpaws, you should, and you will.”--Lee Reich, PhD, author of Uncommon Fruits for Every Garden

“With Pawpaw, Andrew Moore walks firmly in the steps of the great literary journalists John McPhee and Mark Kurlansky. Stories deftly told, research deeply done, this book is an engaging ride through the haunts of a fruit many Easterners quietly—secretly, even—gorge themselves on each autumn. A ripe pawpaw is as illicit as Persephone's pomegranate, and Moore captures that passion well.”--Hank Shaw, 2013 James Beard Award winner, Best Food Blog, and author of Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast and Duck Duck Goose: Recipes and Techniques for Cooking Ducks and Geese 

“I was fortunate to have experienced early in life, from my Monacan Indian and Black community friends, the joy of the pawpaw, as well as maypops, chinquapins, mushrooms, and huckleberries. Andy’s book is one of the road maps to the resurrection of another rooted American food commodity. Pawpaw will generate enthusiasm for this unsung fruit and hopefully engender passion in a few.”--Tom Burford, author of Apples of North America: Exceptional Varieties for Growers, Gardeners, and Cooks

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew Moore

Andrew Moore grew up in Lake Wales, Florida, just south of the pawpaw’s native range. A writer and gardener, he now lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was the news editor and a feature writer for Pop City, a weekly news e-magazine in Pittsburgh, and his stories have been published in the Pittsburgh Post-GazetteThe Daily Yonder, and the Biscayne TimesPawpaw is his first book.

AUTHOR VIDEOS

Vox - The All-American Fruit You've Probably Never Heard Of

The founding fathers loved the pawpaw fruit, so how come almost nobody today has heard of them?

Andy Moore at Urban Folk Farm

On August 10th, Andy Moore will be at Urban Folk Farm to give a talk on pawpaws! Following Andy's talk, there will be a Q&A, a pawpaw tree raffle, and a book signing of Moore's new book, "Pawpaw: In Search of America's Forgotten Fruit." This event begins at 7:00 PM and is free to the public.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Fasting and Feasting

Fasting and Feasting

By Adam Federman

A New York Times Notable Book for 2017

For more than thirty years, Patience Gray—author of the celebrated cookbook Honey from a Weed—lived in a remote area of Puglia in southernmost Italy. She lived without electricity, modern plumbing, or a telephone, grew much of her own food, and gathered and ate wild plants alongside her neighbors in this economically impoverished region. She was fond of saying that she wrote only for herself and her friends, yet her growing reputation brought a steady stream of international visitors to her door. This simple and isolated life she chose for herself may help explain her relative obscurity when compared to the other great food writers of her time: M. F. K. Fisher, Elizabeth David, and Julia Child.

So it is not surprising that when Gray died in 2005, the BBC described her as an “almost forgotten culinary star.” Yet her influence, particularly among chefs and other food writers, has had a lasting and profound effect on the way we view and celebrate good food and regional cuisines. Gray’s prescience was unrivaled: She wrote about what today we would call the Slow Food movement—from foraging to eating locally—long before it became part of the cultural mainstream. Imagine if Michael Pollan or Barbara Kingsolver had spent several decades living among Italian, Greek, and Catalan peasants, recording their recipes and the significance of food and food gathering to their way of life.

In Fasting and Feasting, biographer Adam Federman tells the remarkable—and until now untold—life story of Patience Gray: from her privileged and intellectual upbringing in England, to her trials as a single mother during World War II, to her career working as a designer, editor, translator, and author, and describing her travels and culinary adventures in later years. A fascinating and spirited woman, Patience Gray was very much a part of her times but very clearly ahead of them.

What people say about Patience Gray and Honey From a Weed:

“[There are] food people whom you tend to ‘believe’ rather than simply admire. In this . . . noble lineage is Patience Gray, a wandering Bruce Chatwin of food.”—Jim Harrison, author

“Patience was a woman of strong emotions and opinions, her prose muscular and full of character. So, too, was her cookery.”—Tom Jaine, The Guardian

“Like M.F.K. Fisher, Patience Gray was one of the earliest writers to realize that you could write as well about cooking as you could about art and music . . . . [A] remarkable woman.”—William Boyd, author

“[She] gives you that nice sense of being present and alongside her, visiting these places like Tuscany and Catalonia, and cooking with her.”—April Bloomfield, chef, on Honey From a Weed

“Remarkably ahead of its time, Honey From a Weed is scrupulous in its knowledge of local and seasonal cooking. . . . A book that encourages taking the time to read quietly, passages that inspire and inform equally of a life and foods quite unique, far removed from the urgencies and furies of modern life.”—Jeremy Lee, The Guardian

Available in: Hardcover

Read More

Fasting and Feasting

Adam Federman

Hardcover $25.00

Fresh Food from Small Spaces

Fresh Food from Small Spaces

By R.J. Ruppenthal

Books on container gardening have been wildly popular with urban and suburban readers, but until now, there has been no comprehensive "how-to" guide for growing fresh food in the absence of open land. Fresh Food from Small Spaces fills the gap as a practical, comprehensive, and downright fun guide to growing food in small spaces. It provides readers with the knowledge and skills necessary to produce their own fresh vegetables, mushrooms, sprouts, and fermented foods as well as to raise bees and chickens—all without reliance on energy-intensive systems like indoor lighting and hydroponics.

Readers will learn how to transform their balconies and windowsills into productive vegetable gardens, their countertops and storage lockers into commercial-quality sprout and mushroom farms, and their outside nooks and crannies into whatever they can imagine, including sustainable nurseries for honeybees and chickens. Free space for the city gardener might be no more than a cramped patio, balcony, rooftop, windowsill, hanging rafter, dark cabinet, garage, or storage area, but no space is too small or too dark to raise food.

With this book as a guide, people living in apartments, condominiums, townhouses, and single-family homes will be able to grow up to 20 percent of their own fresh food using a combination of traditional gardening methods and space-saving techniques such as reflected lighting and container "terracing." Those with access to yards can produce even more.

Author R. J. Ruppenthal worked on an organic vegetable farm in his youth, but his expertise in urban and indoor gardening has been hard-won through years of trial-and-error experience. In the small city homes where he has lived, often with no more than a balcony, windowsill, and countertop for gardening, Ruppenthal and his family have been able to eat at least some homegrown food 365 days per year. In an era of declining resources and environmental disruption, Ruppenthal shows that even urban dwellers can contribute to a rebirth of local, fresh foods.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Fresh Food from Small Spaces

R.J. Ruppenthal

Paperback $24.95

Cheesemonger

Cheesemonger

By Gordon Edgar

Witty and irreverent, informative and provocative, Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge is the highly readable story of Gordon Edgar's unlikely career as a cheesemonger at San Francisco's worker-owned Rainbow Grocery Cooperative. A former punk-rock political activist, Edgar bluffed his way into his cheese job knowing almost nothing, but quickly discovered a whole world of amazing artisan cheeses. There he developed a deep understanding and respect for the styles, producers, animals, and techniques that go into making great cheese.

With a refreshingly unpretentious sensibility, Edgar intertwines his own life story with his ongoing love affair with cheese, and offers readers an unflinching, highly entertaining on-the-ground look at America's growing cheese movement. From problem customers to animal rights, business ethics to taste epiphanies, this book offers something for everyone, including cheese profiles and recommendations for selecting the very best-not just the most expensive-cheeses from the United States and around the world and a look at the struggles dairy farmers face in their attempts to stay on and make their living from the land.

Edgar-a smart, progressive cheese man with an activist's edge-enlightens and delights with his view of the world from behind the cheese counter and his appreciation for the skill and tradition that go into a good wedge of Morbier.

Cheesemonger is the first book of its kind-a cheese memoir with attitude and information that will appeal to everyone from serious foodies to urban food activists.

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Cheesemonger

Gordon Edgar

Paperback $17.95

Make Mead Like a Viking

Make Mead Like a Viking

By Jereme Zimmerman

Mead. Vikings. It’s impossible to think of one without the other. So why try? In Make Mead Like a Viking, Jereme Zimmerman unlocks the brewing secrets of the ancient Norse and shows readers how homebrewing mead can be not only simple but fun.

As a homesteader, fermentation enthusiast, and self-described “Appalachian Yeti Viking,” Zimmerman embraces the traditional culture and rituals surrounding mead and will help others bring a sense of wildness, mysticism, and individuality to their home-crafted brews.

In this accessible, easy-to-follow guide, readers will learn how to brew their own drinks such as sweet, semi-sweet, and dry meads; melomels (fruit meads); metheglins (spiced meads); Ethiopian t’ej; honey beers; and grog—opening the Mead Hall doors to further experimentation in fermentation and flavor. In addition, aspiring Viking brewers will explore:

  • The importance of local and unpasteurized honey for both flavor and health benefits
  • Why modern homebrewing practices, materials, and chemicals work but aren’t necessary
  • Herbs and wild botanicals for use in flavoring and preserving these healing, nutritious, and magical meads, beers, and wines
  • Recommendations for starting a mead circle to share your wild meads with other brewers as part of the growing wild mead subculture
  • and more

Whether you’ve been intimidated by modern homebrewing’s cost or seeming complexity in the past or are looking to expand your current brewing and fermentation practices, Zimmerman’s welcoming style and spirit will usher you into exciting new territory. Grounded in history and mythology but focused on modern self-sufficiency, Make Mead Like a Viking is a practical and entertaining guide for the ages.

Skål!

Available in: Paperback

Read More

Make Mead Like a Viking

Jereme Zimmerman

Paperback $24.95