If you’re looking to step a little outside of your comfort zone, papayas are a must-try! Native to tropical regions, papayas are a staple fruit South American and Caribbean cuisines. Occasionally we'll have a limited supply of them -- this week (4/26/21) you can find them in our all fruit, 2/3 fruit, and small box!
Papayas, when eaten ripe, are sweet and the flavor is comparable to a melon. Unripe papaya has little to no flavor, so if you've eagerly cut into your papaya, wait a day or two more!
the look and feel of ripe papaya
Unripe papaya's exterior skin has a color that’s a mixture of yellow and green. Ripe papaya is bright yellow (turns green to yellow as it ripens) and firm (but it can feel soft with gentle pressure). If papaya is ripe, you should be able to press your thumb into the flesh. Papayas will ripen more quickly when put in a paper bag with ethylene-producing fruits, such as apples or bananas. (Spruce Eats)
Store the fruit in the refrigerator to help slow down the ripening process. If you have leftover papaya, it can be stored in the freezer for up to 10 months. Remove the seeds first and then cut the fruit into small pieces for storage.
You can eat the seeds... in moderation!
The seeds are edible and small amounts of them can be good for your gut health (Spruce Eats). They taste bitter, and a cross between mustard and black peppercorns. Dried papaya seed is often used as a suitable substitute for ground black pepper.
They too are loaded with antioxidants and with antibacterial and antiviral properties. NOTE: DO NOT eat more than a teaspoon of seeds at once. They can cause an upset stomach.