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- In the shop: min 8°C – max 12°C
- Ethylene sensitivity: high
- Ethylene productivity: moderate
- At home: keep refrigerated
Ripe papayas: keep cool: at room temperature the papayas will continue ripening. Ripe papayas can still be kept for 2 days in the refrigerator.
Quality and ripeness
- When nice and ripe, the fruit tastes sweet and has the aroma of apricots.
- The papaya is a pear-shaped fruit with a very fine, leathery yellow-green skin.
- The flesh of the Formosa type is firmer and more orangey in colour than other types of papaya.
- The fruit is ripe when it yields to slight pressure from the fingers and when the skin turns yellow.
Papaya is a delicious exotic fruit that can easily be eaten as a finger-food. To impart a touch of freshness to its flavour, a few drops of lemon juice can be sprinkled over the fruit. And it can be eaten as the perfect breakfast. Sweet papaya is an excellent addition to fruit and vegetable salads, but can also be eaten with meat, poultry or ground meats. Generally speaking, papaya combines well with acidic fruits, since their flavours complement each other. In some countries, the papaya is also eaten unripe as a vegetable in curries, chutneys or salads. An example of this is the well-known Thai green papaya salad. The green papaya tastes like a courgette, and can be prepared the same way.
Be careful, though, if you combine papaya with yoghurt or cream. The combination can result in a bitter taste and the enzyme papain, which is found in papaya, makes dairy products watery. On meat, though, this enzyme has a positive effect—the meat becomes tenderer since papain breaks down proteins.
DID YOU KNOW THAT…
- the Formosa papaya is the largest variety of papaya?
- papayas contain a great deal of vitamin C and the enzyme papain, which stimulates digestion by breaking down proteins?