Paw Paws At L'Auberge Provencale

Paw paw fruit in the orchard at L'Auberge Provençale

In the midst of Hanna's drenching rain, I set out for an overnight stay at L'Auberge Provençale. After some hurricane wine tasting (more on that later), we settled in for dinner at the country inn — and my first taste of paw paw.

Chef Alain Borel opened the restaurant in 1981 with his wife Celeste. For its fixed-price five-course dinners, the kitchen makes good use of the property's gorgeous herb and vegetable garden and a small orchard, where paw paw trees grow. The green paw paw is reportedly the largest edible fruit native to North America.

I had to try both dishes that used paw paw: sautéed foie gras with an ice cream made from the fruit and, for dessert, a towering paw paw soufflé with huckleberry sauce. The flavor was fairly subtle, faintly tropical and very creamy.

Ever tried paw paw or seen it on a menu?