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Papaya are generally available year round, however, The Fruit Company only brings this fruit in for our HarvestClub Exotica and HarvestClub Grand Medley members in September.
Dating back to prehistoric times, the papaya is native to South and Central America. Today, the fruit is primarily grown in Hawaii and other tropical regions around the globe. This sweet, smooth-fleshed fruit is a great addition to salads, dried and used as a snack, fried, or pureed and added to beverages or deserts. The skin of the papaya is smooth, and varies from green to yellowish orange, and will become somewhat soft as the fruit ripens. Inside, the flesh looks similar to a cantaloupe, with a light orange-pink color and a central cavity filled with small inedible black seeds. Prepare papaya by cutting it lengthwise, scooping out the black seeds and then peel and slice.
HAWAIIAN PAPAYA vs. MEXICAN PAPAYA
Size and color are two of the biggest differences between these two varieties. The Mexican Papaya is larger in size than the Hawaiian Papaya. The Mexican Papaya has a yellowish-green outer color with shades of orange when ripe and the inside flesh tends to be a yellow, pink or reddish tint; while the Hawaiian Papaya has a green outer color that becomes yellow when ripe with orange or pinkish flesh inside. Mexican papaya has a sweet melon flavor to it and has been described as "musky" in some types. Hawaiian papaya has a more intense flavor than the Mexican variety.
PAPAYA TASTE & RIPENESS
Similar to a melon, the papaya has a pleasantly sweet tropical flavor. The fruit will typically turn from green to yellow-orange as it ripens, and will become soft, giving to light pressure. Ripen firm papaya by placing it in a loosely-closed plastic or paper bag at room temperature up to 3 days. Ripe papaya will store up to a week in the refrigerator. You can also freeze peeled papaya chunks for longer preservation or use in smoothies, but freezing is not recommended for long periods of time.