What are pawpaws? Where and when can you find them? Everything to know

It’s mid-September, and if you’re from Ohio you know what that means: It’s time for pawpaw season. And naturally, the third Thursday of the month is also National Pawpaw Day, a celebration of the unusual fruit.

The small green fruit is native to the Eastern US and has been in the Ohio River Valley region for over 30,000 years. Today, there are still wild pawpaw trees all over Ohio, usually found by rivers and in the shade.

If you can’t get enough pawpaws in your life for the short time they’re ripe, there’s also the Ohio Pawpaw Festival in Albany this weekend. Running Sept. 16-18, the 24th annual celebration will highlight the pawpaw’s history, host competitions for the best and biggest pawpaw and hold pawpaw cook-off and eating contests, among other activities.