Official State Native Fruit of Ohio
Ohio designated pawpaw (asimina triloba) as the official state native fruit in 2009 (tomato was designated the state fruit). The pawpaw is the largest edible fruit native to North America. All State Foods & Beverages
Native Americans were eating pawpaws long before Europeans arrived in the Americas, and early explorers were quick to enjoy them as well. An officer with Hernando de Soto in 1541 wrote home that the pawpaw "has a very good smell and excellent taste."
George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew pawpaws, and the Lewis and Clark expedition lived on them for three days when they ran out of other supplies. The pawpaw grows wild throughout much of the Eastern United States, including in all or part of twenty-six states.
There are towns and lakes named Pawpaw, and Ohio has a yearly pawpaw festival.