When Christopher Columbus tasted a papaya he called it “the fruit of the angels.” Papaya is not only delicious but it is packed with numerous nutrients.
Papaya, also know as the Carica Papaya plant, belongs to the Caricaceae family of the flowering plants. They originated from Central America and Southern Mexico, but are now grown in tropical regions around the world.
Papayas usually hold a pear shape or a spherical shape and can be up to 20 inches long. The ones that we often see in the market are about 7-8 inches long, and usually weigh about 1 pound.
The skin of a papaya ranges from green to orange. When it is unripe, the skin is green; when it is ripe, the skin turns orange. The flesh is orange with yellow to pink hues, and there are many black seeds in the center of the fruit.
Both unripe and ripe papaya can be eaten, but the unripe ones should be cooked because of its high latex content that can stimulate contraction. The seeds inside the fruit are also edible, however they do taste bitter so are usually not eaten by many people.