How do I know if a papaya is ripe or still green? Are there papayas that are always green on the outside and I just have to wait till they are squishy? How do I ripen a green papaya? Will they ripen in the Fridge? These, and similar questions, have been the topics of discussion recently among the Sales Support at GoFresh.
What are papayas anyway? By definition, they are a tropical fruit shaped like an elongated melon, with edible orange flesh and small black seeds. When I cut open a papaya for my little ones, we had lots of fun with the seeds because they are “squishy and slimy”, as defined by my 3-year-old. We enjoyed putting a seed between our fingers and pinching it till it shot out across the room. I’m sure there are other uses for the seeds besides playing but it does make for a hilarious experience getting papaya seeds stuck to your forehead.
The two-main types of papayas I found sold in the US come from Mexico or Hawaii. The Mexican papayas are also known as Maradol or Caribbean Red papayas. The Hawaiian Papayas have 4 different varieties, as explained by the Hawaii Papaya Industry Association.
“Kapoho Solo: The pear-shaped, high-sugar Kapoho Solo papaya has a greenish-yellow skin that turns yellow as the fruit ripens. The deep yellow flesh has a pleasant, peach-melon taste. The name “Solo” originated from Puerto Rican laborers at the Hawaii Experiment Station who began calling the papaya “Solo,” which means “one” or “alone” in Spanish because it was small enough for one person to eat a whole fruit by him or herself. The name stuck.
Rainbow: Grown on the Big Island of Hawaii, Rainbow is the principal variety grown in and shipped from the islands. Its greenish-yellow skin turns yellow as the fruit ripens, and consumer testing has confirmed the extreme popularity of this golden yellow flesh variety
Sunrise: Popularly known by its nickname, “strawberry” papaya, Sunrise (or SunUp) has a freckled greenish-yellow skin that turns yellow as the fruit ripens. Inside, however, its flesh is a juicy, dramatic red-orange color.
Kamiya / Laie Gold: Grown only on the island of Oahu, Kamiya is rounder and larger than the other varieties. It has a thin, greenish-yellow skin with thick orange flesh. Rather than the color of skin, the fruit is ripe when it yields to finger pressure. It is grown for local market only.”
Organic Facts says that “Papayas are a cerise-orange colored juicy fruit, which is not only fragrant and delicious but also very healthy. It has been famous for hundreds of years and was once called the “fruit of the angels” by Christopher Columbus. Papaya is a natural source of vitamins and minerals that are essential for the normal functioning of the body. It is famous for its luscious taste and sunlit color of the tropics and can be eaten as a fruit in the raw form, a smoothie, a milkshake, or as a vegetable in various recipes.”
Their 13 surprising health benefits of Papayas are:
-Aids in Digestion
-Improves Heart Health
-Reduces Acne & Burns
-Treats Macular Degeneration
Now I’m sure that if I really want all those benefits then I should wait to eat the papaya when it is ripe. Here is the biggest debate because I usually only see green papayas at the store or in the shipments we receive at GoFresh. How do I ripen a papaya without it going bad in my fridge or on my counter top? Laura Bennett from Humid Garden suggests placing the papaya in a paper bag after lightly scoring it with a knife. I have also heard that putting an apple or banana in the bag with the papaya will help quicken the ripening process. Also, if you have never had a papaya before and are not sure how to start cutting it, Darlene Schmidt at The Spruce has some step by step instructions that are very clear, and with pictures.
Now that we have our papaya, it is ripe and the “slimy” seeds are to the side, LETS EAT!
If you don’t want to shoot the seeds, you can lay them out to dry and them put them in a pepper grinder to use as a seasoning.
Eat Live & GoFresh!