My mom and dad recently got back from a trip and brought us back some beautiful papayas. I have to admit that I selfishly ate all four of them. ALL FOUR. In my defense, I did try to offer them to my children. The papaya’s musky undertones didn’t go over well despite my best efforts at describing it as “melon” to them. And my husband, well, he just wasn’t around every time I downed one for my meal and called it a day!
I grew up eating a lot of tropical fruit that many of my friends wouldn’t touch; fruit such as sapote, jack fruit, longan, dragon fruit, and the notorious durian. How to choose produce has been drilled into me from the day I was born. At the dinner table with extended family, our conversations were always about food; where the ripest durian could be found, who had the best prices on balut eggs, and where female blue crabs were being sold that were the heaviest for their size thus boasting the most meat. Food is an obsession in my family, as it is with many people of Asian heritage.
Papaya has always been one of my favorite fruits but little did I know growing up how fantastic they are for our health. To read more about why it’s a nutritional powerhouse, check out this article from The World’s Healthiest Foods.
I love to eat mine neat and imagine I’m on a tropical island. I live in a major metropolitan area in the U.S. and they can be found readily at large Asian grocers. I’ve also seen them at many standard American grocery stores but they are more expensive and don’t sell as much of them, so they tend to be past their prime. I suggest picking them up at an international market where they are more popular.
To eat a papaya, first wash it, then cut it in half lengthwise.
You will see black seeds surrounded by a gelatinous casing. These are actually edible and supposedly are peppery but I have not tried them before. It’s a texture thing 🙂
Scoop out the seeds and all the connective pulp that comes with it from the cavity of the papaya.
Turn the papaya over, peel it with a paring knife, slice it, and serve. You could also peel the entire thing before cutting it in half.
You can also use a melon baller for a beautiful presentation in a fruit salad. Don’t tell anyone it’s papaya. They’ll probably think it’s cantaloupe until they taste it. Hee, hee.
My favorite way is simply to scoop the seeds out, then eat the rest straight out of the skin with a spoon.
If you haven’t tried papaya before, do yourself a huge favor and seek some out this week.
BTW, have you noticed any improvement in my photography? I hope so! I’m now shooting fully in manual and editing in Lightroom. Yay!! I’ve been spending the past few weeks taking thousands of photos and practicing my editing in Lightroom. I’ll be posting what I’ve learned soon!
Until then, be well.
XO – Cecile