The large, sometimes twenty-inch papaya, vivid with bright yellow-pink-orange flesh, contrasted against its edible jet black seeds, was called “fruit of the angels” by Christopher Columbus. This lofty fruit, with a lowly nickname, has a wonderfully soft, butter-like consistency along with refreshingly sweet, delightfully pungent flavor.
Stunningly tropical papaya/papaws made exotic gifts presented by flamboyant Spanish and Portuguese explorers in the early years, and it wasn’t long before they became a delicious part of the entire tropical region. This became true, as well, for Africa, the Philippines and India. Papayas have been grown in the U.S. since 1920.
Papaya fruit is a rich source of nutrients, especially vitamins A, B, C, lycopene, potassium and fiber. It also contains papain, a digestive aid.
Select papayas which are green with touches of red and orange on its skin. A good one will “give” slightly to the touch. Yellowness denotes under-ripeness. Avoid those with bruises, although a few black spots are acceptable. Store ripe papayas in your refrigerator crisper.
The ripe fruit of the papaya is usually eaten raw, without skin or seeds.
Cut washed papaya and peel.
Cut into halfs and remove seeds with a large spoon.
Cut the soft meat into bite-sized pieces for table use.
Seeds are edible and have a spicy taste. Store in refrigerator and use as garnish or snack.
Eat plain (some sprinkle with salt and/or lime juice)
Salsas with cilantro, jalapeno pepper and ginger