Guest post by Will Valverde. One of the great things about farmers markets and eating local is that you get the chance to try new flavors and new foods. Like the pawpaw.
We grow a lot of different foods out in California, but I'd never heard of pawpaws. A pawpaw is a small, sweet fruit -- kind of like a banana, kind of like a mango, but not really like either. It's native to Missouri, and I got the chance to try one here at the HOMEGROWN Urban County Fair thanks to the nice folks at Yellowtree Farm (seen here with their Bantam Plymouth Rock chicken, Bill Murray).
Yesterday I didn't know a pawpaw from a soursop (they're actually related) -- but today I can proudly say I'm a pawpaw partisan. That's why I try to make a point of visiting local markets and sampling local food wherever I travel. You never know what you'll find, and it's a great way to get in touch with the local cuisine and community.
Farm Aid has a handy set of resources for finding farmers markets and other sources of good local food. Check it out next time you're heading out of town -- you may not get a pawpaw, but you're bound to find something tasty, something local, something new.