If you’ve never tried the fruit papaya, you really should. If you have in fact tried it, there’s a good chance you may not have liked it. Why? A lot of supermarkets sell fruits that are either under-ripe or over-ripe. As a result, the papaya can taste bland and even show signs of severe muskiness.
The taste of papaya is quite dependent on how ripe the fruit is. When papaya is ripened just right, it’s absolutely delicious and well worth the try. The problem is, not many people know how ripe it should be in addition to how to prepare it, how to make it taste better and how to tell if the papaya is bad.
A little bit about papaya
The fruit papaya originally is from southern Mexico and is one of the leading factors that influenced the explorers from Spanish and Portuguese to introduce and cultivate these mighty fruits to countries around the world. This included Latin America, the Philippines, India and certain regions of Africa.
Today, papaya is shipped to places all around the world. Its success is a lot credited to its fast growth rate. In fact, after you plant it, it’ll start producing fruit within three years. The only problem for this fruit is cold weather. The papaya tree is very sensitive to frost and must be grown in tropical temperatures.
What does papaya taste like?
Like mentioned above, if your papaya is not perfectly ripened, it may taste bland or bad. However, if your papaya has been ripened properly, the taste is more of a dry sweetness with a soft texture. You can also taste a slight muskiness which adds to the papaya flavor. On the other hand, once your fruit becomes over-ripe, the muskiness taste becomes too much.
How do you pick a papaya that’s perfectly ripe?
Trying to find a papaya that is perfectly ripe can be a little challenging sometimes. However, if you know what to look for, it’ll be a little easier. The first thing you want to look for is a papaya that is yellow in color with very minimal blemishes. You should look for things like dents, deep scratches, and various holes. In addition to this, papaya smell is another factor that also comes into play. If the papaya smells like bad feet, it probably means that the fruit is over-ripe. You want to inspect the fruit for a sweet smell near the stem portion of the fruit. While you’re doing this, also look for mold near the stem. If you see mold, put the fruit back and look for a better one.
The last thing you want to inspect is the overall shape of the papaya. With two hands, hold the fruit up and inspect it. Your papaya should have a plump, round shape.
When trying to find a good papaya, there are other things you should look for as well. Listed below are some additional factors you should look out for. These will help you identify a bad papaya.
✘ Deep orange color. This means your papaya is over-ripe.
✘ Your papaya is not firm. If you touch it, and it feels soft and mushy, it’s a bad papaya.
✘ Look for dark bruises.
✘ Softness around the stem.
✘ Rotten or fermented odor.
Keep your papaya fresh
After you have picked out a good papaya, you want to make sure to keep it fresh, so you can enjoy it for many more days. The good news is, these tasty fruits are good for a week when stored in a cool refrigerator. However, it’s important to note that papaya will taste the best if it’s eaten within the first couple of days.
If your papaya happens to be under-ripe, you’ll want to let it sit out at room temperature for a few days. It’s also important to note that while you’re letting your papaya sit out, it’s best to let them sit on a flat surface. This will keep mushy spots from forming on the outside of the fruit.
To speed up the ripening process, you can set either an apple or a pear between the papayas that you have sitting out. It’s important though that you leave a little space between all the different fruits positioned on the flat surface.
How to make papaya taste better?
Like already stated, papaya tastes best when it’s ripened perfectly. Beyond that, many people add honey and eat it for breakfast. Others like to cut it up and mix it in with their smoothies. Other fruits they may add with it including bananas, apples, pears, strawberries, blueberries and even raspberries. Another way people eat their papaya is to mix it in with their oatmeal. However you like it, papaya makes a great breakfast option.
Besides just breakfast, many people also like to dry their papaya. Not only does this make a healthy snack, it makes your papaya last much longer. Dried papaya is nutritious, easy and is great for hiking trips and other outdoor activities.
The nutritional value of papaya
Not only does papaya tasty and make an easy snack, it’s also highly nutritious and provides the human body with a lot of vitamins and minerals. The nutritional benefits of Papaya include:
☆ Consists of a wide selection of nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin C and B vitamins.
☆ Contain an antioxidant in the skin of the fruit which stop oxidation reactions.
☆ Produces arginine which benefit the endocrine system.
☆ Contains enzymes which help with digestive problems.
☆ Contains an amino acid referred to as papain. This amino acid creates human growth hormones which aid in cell rejuvenation and rebuilding cells. This is great for your liver, your bones and your muscles.
☆ Help regenerating skin cells.
☆ Helps cleanse the body of toxins.
☆ Helps stop infections in the colon.
☆ Great for preventing a cold virus.
☆ Promotes healthy hair.
☆ Dried papaya works as an aphrodisiac.
Above all, if you try and mix papaya into your diet on a regular basis, you’ll not only feel much better and provide your body with quality nutrients, you’ll also add a little zing to your dishes.