Shaped like a plump mango, the papaw has pale green, smooth skin and a sweet taste that resembles a cross between a banana and a pear. The tropical fruit works well in baked goods, custards, and ice cream. Because of its texture, the fruit can be used in almost any recipe as you would use banana. It can also be eaten out of hand. It is sometimes spelled pawpaw. Papaw trees are native to 25 states from the Gulf Coast on the south to Michigan and western New York on the north, and to southeastern Nebraska and eastern Texas on the west. It is available in the fall.