Pawpaw Festival 2016

Pawpaw Fest this year is September 15-17!

Every year in southeastern Ohio there is a little festival celebrating a native fruit called the Pawpaw. The festival is held on Lake Snowden, which is owned by the college I graduated from, but even after being at Hocking College for two years I never went to Pawpaw Fest.

This year, my husband and I drove down and picked up our friends Travis and Tori. The four of us decided to still go even though it called for storms all day.

It’s not a huge festival but it’s certainly interesting. They had a lot of vendors selling handmade goods and a decent selection of food trucks. There were also some groups promoting renewable energy and various outdoor programs. They even have music and some education talks. If you like the outdoors and green alternatives, it’s a pretty cool place to go to.

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Tori, Travis, & a guy dressed as a pawpaw

None of us had ever tried a pawpaw before so that was our main goal for the day. The first thing we tried was a pawpaw waffle on a stick with pawpaw whipped cream.

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The waffle was pretty good and really dense. The most pawpaw flavor came from the whipped cream, which I’m not typically a fan of, but it went well with the waffle.

Next, we tried pawpaw salsa.

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The pawpaw has a banana-mango flavor that is really subtle. Everything else in the salsa overpowered the pawpaw so you couldn’t really taste it. I personally wouldn’t get pawpaw salsa again because it was honestly just over priced salsa. However, I think that if added to a fruit based salsa (like a mango salsa) it would be okay.

Oh, pawpaw beer.

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Yes, that glass does say 2015, but it was cheaper than getting the 2016 pint glass and had a much better design. This year was an ugly fly. It was kind of weird.
They had a bunch of different types of pawpaw beer including a pumpkin pawpaw beer. Travis and my husband, Aidan, got a couple different beers and I was not a fan of any and neither was Tori. Both of the boys enjoyed most of the beers they tried. It was definitely unique and I heard they may have had a pawpaw cider which I’ll have to try next year.

One of the last things we tried was pawpaw itself. We found a small stand selling them for $8.00/lb but were also giving out samples of some of the fruit they weren’t going to sell. It had a banana-mango flavor and a custard consistency but Travis described it as more of a banana-melon flavor. Overall, the pawpaw has a unique flavor that all of us seemed to enjoy. I’m not a huge fan of the fruit by itself but over time I might come to like it on its own.

There were a bunch of cute shops at the festival. We took cover in many of them as it did end up raining on and off for most of the day. There was a bunch of art and cool jewelry as well as a Native American flute stand which Tori really liked. My favorite booths were the ones selling plants.

There were a couple booths selling pawpaw trees. If they did well in pots I would have gotten one! In this particular booth above they also had a bunch of medicinal plants like elderberries, Saint John’s Wort, mullein, and many other plants. There was another booth that I ended up purchasing a Dwarf Northern Blue blueberry bush from. Now I wish I had gotten two!

After pawpaw fest, we went back to Hocking College (since that’s where Tori and Travis are going to school) and went searching for pawpaws. The plan was to just go for a hike but after we started finding pawpaw trees we were on a mission to find at least one pawpaw. Surprisingly, we found one!

Want to learn more about pawpaws? Check out my post dedicated to pawpaws!

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Pawpaw fest was pretty cool, though I probably wouldn’t spend more than one day there. If you want to drink pawpaw beer all weekend I would definitely recommend camping out at Lake Snowden.

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Have you ever been to pawpaw fest? Have you ever tried a pawpaw before?