Every year all across the United States, farmers grow fruits to be distributed everywhere, but many of these fruits including oranges, grapes, apples, and peaches, aren’t actually native to the United States. Many fruits come from China or Western Asia, but there’s one fruit that is native to the United States that many people haven’t even heard. The pawpaw is the largest edible fruit native to the United States that has also played an important role in American history for millions of years, which some experts believe was first recorded by the Native Americans along the Mississippi River in 1541.

Pawpaws naturally grow in the United States in a region known as the Pawpaw Belt, which is located mostly in the eastern half of the country. Unfortunately much of this belt was destroyed between 1990 and 2010, because the United States lost nearly 950,000 acres of forested land each year from development. Another reason the fruit isn’t very common is simply that the pawpaw doesn’t fit well within large scale agriculture because the fruit ripens very quickly, which makes it very difficult to sell at a mass scale. For this reason, pawpaws aren’t sold in grocery stores like apples, but some may argue they’re equally delicious.