Our member, Ms B. Sarkar, shares a fond memory of witnessing a unique festival in North America with us.
Ms B. Sarkar went to visit her son in Ohio in August 2019. During her fun-filled six-month stay, she travelled to many places with her son. But the one that she enjoyed the most was the Pawpaw Festival in Albany, near the scenic grounds of Lake Snowden. Pawpaw is the largest edible fruit indigenous to the United States. The fruit is green and elongated, and the smell was a mixture of different tropical fruits, and was a tad bit strong for her. The fruit has a creamy texture and a tropical flavour. Southern Ohio is home to some of the largest and best tasting wild pawpaw patches on the planet. Pawpaw is also very nutritious and historically significant. She was touched by the gestures and the efforts to protect the native fruit and make it popular. The festival ground was about a two-and-half-hour drive from where she was staying and they reached around 11a.m. The amazing beauty of Lake Snowden and the zest and enthusiasm of the people to embrace the tradition amazed her. All the visitors were welcomed with a wrist band with the picture of a pawpaw, a hairband with the pawpaw emblem, and the fruit as a gift. The entire fest highlighted the rich history and possibilities of the pawpaw through delectable food presentations and activities that covered pawpaw growing, cooking, genetics, medical use, pawpawrelated works of art and other topics related to sustainability. There was the popular pawpaweating contest too. There were music bands performing live on stage and the people were tasting the different dishes of pawpaw and enjoying and dancing with the rhythm. Kids had their separate playing areas and a competition of pawpaw planting. Overall, it was so vibrant and colourful that it is still vivid in her mind.
(As narrated to Support Elders by our member.)