Called the, “fruit of angels,” by Columbus, a chilled papaya, smooth, buttery, sweet, yet a bit musky, can be a delicious treat! Its exciting, smooth, buttery, bright orange flesh can make a hot summer’s eve watermelon seem “ho-hum.”
Papayas (a.k.a. Paw Paw) can be as long as 20 inches, but most are more like 8 inches in length. The outside of an oval papaya is rather smooth and a medium shade of green rapidly turning yellow.
Like pineapple, papayas contain the enzyme, papain, used to tenderize meat. The many black seeds of the papaya are edible, having a peppery taste. People chew them whole, or blend them into salad dressings.
Papayas were favorites of native Indians and relished by Portuguese and Spanish explorers when they passed through Central America and the Caribbean. Today we get papayas from growers in the U.S, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
Papayas are rich in vitamin C, A, folate, magnesium, potassium and fiber. Its enzymes, papain and chymopapain, aid digestion of proteins.
Select a papaya which is mostly yellow and gives slightly to light pressure from your finger. Avoid those with bruises, wrinkled skin or large black spots. They should not be soft af the stem end. For maximum enjoyment, store ripe papayas in the refrigerate for not more than two days.
SEARCH AND SERVING SUGGESTIONS:
The most direct way to enjoy papaya is to wash it, cut in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, sprinkle the flesh with fresh citrus juice.
Add papaya to other ingredients last, as it can cause them to become soft.
- Baked and stuffed
- Chutney of papaya, cilantro, jalapeno and ginger root
- Fruit salads
- Raw or cooked
- Salad dressings
Foodsites with papaya recipes.