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Photo of a papaya cut in half
Photo of many papayas growing on a tree
Photo of a papaya cut in half
Photo credits (left to right): Photo credits (top to bottom): Flickr: Janine; Flickr: Scot Nelson; Flickr: Maggie Hoffman

Foods Included

Papaya, Green Papaya, Maradol Papaya, Strawberry Papaya


Papayas are pear-shaped fruits that can be as long as 20 inches, although most are about 7 inches long and weigh about one pound. Their flesh is orange with either yellow or pink hues. Papaya has a sweet taste and buttery consistency. It has black, round seeds that can be eaten but taste bitter. Green papaya is unripe and and has a more sour taste. It is traditionally used in Asian dishes.

Buy It

  • Choose soft papayas with reddish-orange skin.
  • Papayas with yellow spots will be less ripe.
  • Green papayas should only be purchased if you're making a specific dish, like Green Papaya Salad.

Store It

  • Papayas that aren't fully ripe can be placed in a paper bag with a banana to speed up ripening.
  • Papayas can be stored on the counter for 1-2 days.
  • Ripe papayas should be kept in the refridgerator and eaten within 2-4 days.

Cook It

  • Enjoy in a fruit salad or make pineapple salsa.
  • Papaya can be eaten like a melon. Wash the fruit, cut lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and then eat the fruit with a spoon.
  • You can also peel the papaya, cut it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and then slice it or cut it into pieces.
  • Add it to fruit salads or enjoy with yogurt and lemon or lime juice squeezed on top.

Why It's Great

  • Vitamin A keeps our eyes working, our immune system strong, and our cells growing.
  • Vitamin C keeps our immune system strong and helps our bodies heal quickly.


Try It

Tropical Fruit Plate
25 mins
Pico de Gallo Fruit Salad
15 mins
Tropical Fruit Platter
15 mins
Tongan Fruit Salad
20 mins
Photo of prepared Tongan Fruit Salad

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