If you’ve ever heard of the Paw Paw, then you know it’s not your average fruit! The Paw Paw fruit is indigenous to Northern America and grows wild in many locations around Maryland. The Paw Paw tree is even very prevalent along the banks of the Potomac River and other natural locations around the state. While many Marylanders may not know about the fruit’s existence, local business Handcrafted Western Maryland Lemonade has perfected a recipe using this sweet treat that’s perfect for keeping cool this summer.
Handcrafted Western Maryland Lemonade was created by owner Todd Helmick, an avid gardener, who began selling his bottled lemonade at the Downtown Cumberland Farmers Market. The fresh lemonade was a success with customers, prompting Todd to experiment by adding freshly-picked produce from his garden. He soon realized that the Maryland region offered an assortment of additional wild and organic options like raspberries, autumn olives, maple sap, and of course, the Paw Paw fruit.
All the lemonade is hand-squeezed fresh and refrigerated immediately with hand-dated labels to ensure shelf-life freshness. Flavors of the company's hand-squeezed lemonade include mountain white blackberry, honey lavender, white strawberry, bing cherry, and many more unique flavors, with one of the most asked about flavors being the Paw Paw Lemonade. The Paw Paw is an oblong shaped, yellowish-green to brown colored fruit. The soft and edible pulp has a taste that is similar to mango/banana and the fruit is typically ripe in the late summer to early fall months.
The company’s lemonade has become a made-in-Maryland tradition and products can be found in stores and shops across the state. The company also offers custom orders for weddings, homecoming events, and various holidays. Check out the website for a list of retailers that sell Handcrafted Western Maryland Lemonade or to place an order.
Western Maryland Lemonade joins a variety of growers and producers in Maryland’s agribusiness industry, which collectively generates more than $4.7 billion in products and $2.2 billion in economic impact annually. Learn more about this thriving sector.