Papaya fruit have a sweet, almost musky taste. If they ripen enough on
the tree (turning a nice orange-yellow color), and you let the rind
become nice and soft, the flesh will often have a wonderful, tangy
that's hard to beat.
There are dozens of domesticated papaya varieties, and many more wild
or semi-wild ones as well, each with a different taste.
For any papaya to be at its best, though, it must be left to ripen on
the tree, and also properly ripened off the tree.
Learn how to select and ripen papaya here
The Types of Papaya Fruit
You'll generally find two major types of
papayas in US supermarkets.
The first is often just referred to as Hawaiian, although many
are grown in Hawaii. The ones you'll see, though, are usually the Solo
cultivar or one of its derivatives, which grows to the shape of a big
pear of 12 to 22 oz. These are considered the perfect size for export
by large fruit companies.
The second type is often just called "Mexican Papaya," although, again,
many cultivars are grown in Mexico. The cultivars you'll see are
generally Mexican Red or Mexican Yellow.
These are considerably larger fruit than the Hawaiian Solos, often
growing to be 10 lbs or more.
Papaya Fruit Nutrition Information
Like every other fruit and vegetable, papaya has its nutritional
strengths and weaknesses. While it's important to note that pursuing
isolated vitamin intake is folly
, papayas have a rich mix,
and like other whole, raw foods, are great for you.
Papaya fruit are particularly noted for being loaded with vitamin C,
folate, and potassium, though, and also has high levels of lycopene,
vitamins E and A, and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin.
They've got 13 times more vitamin C and twice the potassium of an
apple, and four times more vitamin E than an orange.
They're also quite low in calories compared to other fruit at just 39
calories for 100 grams. A single 4 and 1/2 inch Hawaiian Solo is only
59 calories, meaning you can feast without worries.
Learn how to incorporate
delicious papaya fruit into a health raw food diet
Read about other interesting fruit here
Figure out how to select the best papaya at the market and then ripen