The papaya is also known as papaw or pawpaw is a fruit and tree of the genus Carica of the family Caricaceae. The papaya originated in the areas of Central America to southern Mexico.
It is now widely grown in other regions including several African countries, the Caribbean Islands, Florida and southern Asia. The world’s largest producers of papaya are India, Brazil, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Mexico.
Papaya plants have three sexes which are male, female and hermaphrodite. As expected the male tree produces pollen but no fruit while the female produces immature inedible fruit unless pollinated. The hermaphrodite, on the other hand, has flowers that contain both the stamen and the ovaries.
The tree grows on a single stem that grows about 5 to 10 meters tall. It bears large leaves that reach about half a meter in diameter.
It produces a cluster of fruit berries which grows about 15 to 45 cm long and 10 – 30 cm in diameter. The fruit starts out green and turns slightly yellow when ready for harvest. It continues to turn yellow-orange as it ripens further.
Papaya can be found in the markets all year round in various stages of maturity. It can, therefore, be purchased based on when you want to consume it. Because the fruits vary in size when ripe you can purchase the fruit you need to suit your needs for the moment.
Fruit should be firm to touch and feel heavy for its size. The fruit should not bear bruises, mold or rot. The skin should be vibrant in color and be without cuts.
unripe fruit can be stored in room temperature for several days while ripe fruit must be stored in a refrigerator.
How to Prepare papaya for Culinary Use
The fruit should be washed thoroughly to remove soil and dirt as well as pesticide and fungicide residue. Unripe green papaya can be eaten cooked as it is in Asian countries but should not be eaten raw.
Generally, the skin which is bitter in taste is not eaten. The skin can be peeled off using a knife. The pulp can be cut according to the recipe instructions. The seeds and slimy layer bearing the seeds can be removed with a spoon and put aside or discarded.
The ripe fruit can be eaten raw as is or seasoned with lemon, salt, pepper or even sweetened with sugar. The fruit makes for a great part of fruit salad and pairs well with mango, pineapple, passion, watermelon, banana, and avocado.
The fruit can be blended into juice, shakes, sorbet, salsa or A Smoothie is a thick drink made by blending raw fruit and or vegetables with a liquid such as water, juice and dairy products. In some recipes sweeteners like honey or sugar as well as other ingredients can be added to the drink. They can also be bought commercially bottled in supermarkets. Depending on the ingredients it can be drunk... More drinks. The fruit also pairs well with poultry and seafood dishes as well. The papain enzyme is used as a A meat tenderizer which is also known as a meat mallet or meat pounder is a handheld hammer like tool used to tenderize slabs of meat. The tenderizing is done by simply pounding on the meat during preparation before cooking. The softening of the meat happens because this pounding breaks down the fibers which allow the meat to digest easier.... More as well.
Papaya provides no cholesterol and contains 43 calories per 100 grams. It is also a decent source of dietary fiber and a fair source of carbohydrates. Papaya is rich in vitamin C containing more than oranges or lemons. It is also a good source of Vitamin A is a group of unsaturated nutritional organic compounds like retinol, retinoic acid provitamin A carotenoids like beta-carotene and is important for growth, immune system and good vision especially in low-light and color vision. It can be found in several foods including liver, cod liver oil, carrot, green vegetables, butter, milk sweet potato, Cheese and fish among others.... More.
It is a good source of the b-complex vitamins such as Folates are also known as Folic acid or vitamin B9 is good for DNA synthesis and is essential for alleviating Anemia and in pregnant women infant neural tube defects. It is a water-soluble vitamin. Folic acid can be found naturally in leafy green vegetables. Steam cooking helps retain more of the vitamin during cooking. You can also get it from... More, Pantothenic acid is also known as vitamin B5. It is a water soluble vitamin used by animals to synthesize coenzyme-A (CoA), as well as to metabolize proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Major food sources include dried mushrooms, liver, dried egg yolks and sunflower seeds among others. Pantothenic acid deficiency is extremely rare but symptoms include impaired energy production, irritability, fatigue, and... More, and Pyridoxine is also known as pyridoxol or vitamin B6 and can be gotten from fruit, vegetables, and grains. It helps prevent confusion, ulcerations, conjuctivitis, intertigo and neuropathy among others. Alcoholics and the elderly are usually the demographics that tend to have increased risk of vitamin B6 deficiency.... More. It also has Thiamin, Thiamine or Vitamin B1 helps prevent disorders like beriberi and korsakoff's syndrome and can lead to metabolic coma and death. Yeast, yeast extract, pork, whole grain brown bread and other cereals are good sources of vitamin B1.... More and Riboflavin is also known as vitamin B2 helps prevent migraines and is good for cellular respiration. It can be found in eggs, milk, meat and green vegetables. Deficiency results in symptoms similar to Pellagra. Others include chapped lips, red tongue, sore throat, inflammation of the mouth and scaly rashes on private parts.... More. This fruit is also a good source of Potassium, Iron and Magnesium. It also contains Calcium and Phosphorus.