If you’ve never tried papaya, you’re in for a treat. This sweet tropical fruit is delicious eaten raw or in drinks. It originally came from Mexico and Central America. Most of the papaya in our grocery stores comes from Hawaii. Papaya is loaded with vitamin A and vitamin C.
- Unripe papaya and papaya leaves contain an enzyme that’s been used to tenderize meat for thousands of years.
- Eating too much papaya can cause the soles of your feet to temporarily turn yellow or orange.
- Papaya seeds are edible. They look like peppercorns and have a slightly peppery flavor.
- Papaya doesn’t ripen much after it’s picked. Look for papayas that are mostly yellow or orange. Avoid green ones.
- In Asia, people steam and eat the leaves of the papaya tree. A special tea made from papaya leaves is believed to protect people from malaria.
- In Australia, papaya is called Pawpaw fruit.
- Unripe papaya oozes latex. Some people are allergic to it.
- Enzyme: a chemical compound
- Malaria: a serious illness spread by mosquitoes and common in tropical regions
Questions and Answers
Question: Can I buy papayas in the grocery store?
Answer: Papayas are tropical fruit, not widely eaten in the U.S. You should be able to find one though in larger grocery stores.
Watch a video to learn more about papayas.