A tropical fruit of orange, yellow, and green hues, papayas are known to have a velvety, butter-like texture and a mild to fairly sweet taste. Unripe papayas, however, can have little to no taste at all. Green papayas feature a lot in Asian cuisine and are known to have quite a crunchy texture that goes perfectly well with nuts in salads. Apart from featuring in different cuisines because of its wonderful flavor, papayas are known for their numerous health benefits, which you can read in our article, 10 Good Reasons You Should Eat Papaya. So with all these aspects of the fruit taken into consideration, let’s look at the basics like how to choose papaya, cut it, eat it and store it among other things.
How to Cut A Papaya?
How you cut papaya depends on how you wish to serve it. If you wish to have it plain, that is just as it is, you can simply slice it across vertically or horizontally, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds, and then have it directly off the skin. But if you want to have a fruit salad then you will have to cut it in chunks. Let us take a look at the following FAQs to best understand the process of cutting papaya in detail.
How To Choose Papaya?
Papayas are of different kinds but the two main ones are the Kapaho and the Mexican varieties. While the former is known to have grown in Hawaii and Costa Rica and is small or medium in size, not to forget sweet in taste, the latter is larger and known to have a bland flavor. When you go to buy papaya, here are a few things to keep in mind while choosing one.
- The first and foremost step before cutting papaya is to choose the right kind. By right kind, we mean papaya that is fairly ripe.
- Look for papayas that are yellow or little greenish in color to completely ripen at home.
- Avoid papayas that have bruises, cuts, or blemishes, and that are too soft on the exterior.
- Avoid purchasing papayas that possess a soft flesh near the stem end.
- At the same time, look for any molds at the base of the papaya where the stem was attached. If you see it, don’t buy the fruit.
When Do You Know A Papaya Is Ripe?
The first feature that gives away the ripeness of papaya, is the color of the skin. If the skin color is turning from green to yellow, you know that the papaya in question is ripening. Secondly, the papaya should not be too hard, but firm enough to yield to pressure. This means that if you press your finger to the skin of the fruit, it should sink slightly. Hard papaya means it isn’t ripe. The skin should be smooth and have no blemishes whatsoever. It shouldn’t be shriveled as well. That means it could be overripe. Another indicator is the smell. If the papaya has a mild sweet scent near the stem, buy it. If it has no smell, it means it isn’t ripe. If it has a strong disagreeable smell, then avoid it completely. The best way to ripen papaya is by placing it in a brown paper bag and letting it be that way for a few days.
How To Peel A Papaya?
People mostly prefer to peel the skin of the papaya and eat it. The skin of the fruit isn’t poisonous, which means it can be eaten but just as in the case of other fruits like a banana or sweet lime, it is preferable to eat only the flesh and not the skin. Anyway, before peeling and cutting the papaya, first, rinse it thoroughly under running water. Then with a clean paper towel, wipe the fruit dry and start to peel it. Hold the fruit vertically to peel the papaya. Take the knife and run it down the skin of the papaya in long slices. Ensure you do not try to slice it too deeply as that will cause a lot of the fruit to be lost in the bargain. If you find it difficult to use a knife, use a vegetable peeler instead to remove the skin. On the other hand, you can choose to cut the papaya into slices and then use the knife to peel off the skin of each of the slices.
How To Cut The Papaya Into Chunks?
- Step 1: To begin with it, first, place the papaya on a cutting board and cut it in half lengthwise by using a large, sharp knife.
- Step 2: Now separate the papaya into two halves.
- Step 3: Scrape out the seeds using a large spoon. Try not throwing the seeds as they are edible and exceptionally nutritious when added to your diet. However, they have quite a strong flavor, which doesn’t make them too palatable.
- Step 4: At this point, you can choose to scoop out the flesh of the papaya using an ice cream scoop. You can also simply use your spoon to scoop out the flesh of the papaya and eat it.
- Step 5: If you want to cut it into chunks, slice the papayas, and then peel off the skin of each of them delicately using a knife. Thereafter, take each of the slices individually and cut them into small to medium-sized chunks. Alternatively, you can peel the skin of the papaya, soon after cutting the whole fruit into two halves as explained in Step 1. Then turn each of the halves over and cut them into wedges as thick or thin as you prefer. You can further cut them into cubes or chunks if you want.
How To Eat Papaya?
There are many ways to eat papaya. Here are a few ways to do so.
- Papaya wedges: Papaya wedges make for a great breakfast option. You can further cut them into cubes and eat them as is by drizzling a little bit of lime juice over it to kill the unappetizing smell, if any, and enhance the flavor of the same.
- Fruit Salad: You can combine the freshly cut papaya chunks into a fresh fruit salad. Green papaya salad with peanuts is quite a delicacy in Thailand. You can combine papayas along with different fruits, vegetables, nuts, and dressing to make for interesting salads.
- Juice: You can also churn your papaya chunks into a delicious and healthy juice. Here is our article, 8 Amazing Benefits of Papaya Juice that will best explain its health benefits and also its recipe. You can also combine papaya with other fruits to make interesting, healthy smoothies. Papayas with bananas and strawberries make for a delicious breakfast option.
- Appetizer: Papaya strips with thin prosciutto slices make for a great appetizer. Drizzle some lime juice over it to give it a tangy taste. You can also shred raw papayas and combine them with mashed potatoes to make delicious kebabs.
- Snack: Dried papaya makes for a great healthy snack. You can choose to sprinkle powdered sugar and have it if you like. Here is our article, 9 Incredible Benefits of Dried Papaya that talks about its health benefits and recipe in great detail!
- Grilled Papaya: Yes, grilled papaya tastes divine! Just cut the papaya into wedges, remove the seeds and grill them. Top it off with ice cream and you will surely ask for more.
- Summertime treat: Ever tried papaya popsicles? Place fresh spears of papaya on a stick and freeze them and you will not regret it!
- Dessert: You can combine papaya pulp, clarified butter, almonds, cardamom, and sugar and make a delicious Indian dessert known as halwa. Other desserts include papaya mousse (made of just 3 healthy ingredients: coconut milk, papaya, and honey), silky papaya custard, papaya ice cream, and the like.
How To Store Papaya?
Once ripened, papaya will spoil easily if it is not stored properly. The best thing to do would be to eat the papaya right away but if you have to store it, it would be ideal to refrigerate it. Not only will it stay for long this way but will taste better when served cold. If you wish to freeze it, you can place cut papayas in rigid airtight containers or properly zip-locked plastic freezer bags.