Like the Papaw, the papaya is native to North America (and in some regions, also called paupaw). But with those two comparisons the similarities end. The papaya tree is a horticultural wonder, growing from seed to a 20-foot, fruit-bearing tree in less than 18 months. Papayas are cultivated in semitropical zones around the world and can range in size from 1 to 20 pounds. The papaya variety found most often in the United States is the Solo, grown in Hawaii and Florida. It’s large (about 6 inches long and 1 to 2 pounds in weight) and pear shaped; when ripe, it has a vivid golden-yellow skin. The similarly colored flesh is juicy and silky smooth, with an exotic sweet-tart flavor. The rather large center cavity is packed with shiny, grayish-black seeds. Though the peppery seeds are edible (and make a delicious salad dressing), they’re generally discarded. Look for richly colored papayas that give slightly to palm pressure. Slightly green papayas will ripen quickly at room temperature, especially if placed in a paper bag. Refrigerate completely ripe fruit and use as soon as possible. Ripe papaya is best eaten raw, whereas slightly green fruit can be cooked as a vegetable. The fruit contains Papain, a digestive enzyme that is used chiefly in Meat Tenderizers. Papaya is a very good source of vitamins A and C.
TopicsArgentinian beverages Brazilian Caribbean Central American cheese Chilean cooking Cuban culinary culinary arts definitions dictionary eating edible Espanol food food glossary foods foods of France France French French cuisine French food French foods gastronome gastronomic gastronomique gastronomy glossaries glossary gout Latin American Mexico Paris Patricia Wells Portuguese Provence Puerto Rican South America South American Spain Spanish taste wine