Neil Petersen tells National Public Radio's Allison Aubrey that after tasting his first pawpaw 35 years ago, he had a "revelation" that the wild fruit found mostly in the Eastern U.S. was just as good as a peach or apple and should be bred and commercialized in a similar way. Shortly after this experience, he began his life's dedication to the pawpaw, and now several orchards are growing his trees and selling his version of the fruit in farmer's markets.
Bringing even more attention to the pawpaw as a commercial fruit is Ohio University food scientist Rob Brannan. Aubrey reports that Brannan has studied the nutrients in pawpaws and published a study concluding the fruit is high in antioxidants, making it comparable to cranberries and cherries by this measure. He told Aubrey that putting a "health halo" over the pawpaw would give it a commercial boost. (Read more)