When is my papaya ready to eat?
So, I just received my papaya via Fedex. They look great, but are they ready to eat?
Papayas are typically harvested from the trees at ¼ to ½ color change. It usually takes about a week from harvest to be at the perfect eating stage, depending on the temperatures. The sweetness of the fruit is determined by the growing conditions and the stage it is picked. Color change affects the texture but not the sweetness.
The PERFECT Papaya is best eaten at ¾ color change to yellow and when squeezed gently, there is a slight give. If they aren't perfect yet, leave out at ambient room temperature and they will continue to ripen and turn more yellow.
Once papayas are at ¾ color, refrigerate to prevent further color change and retain the perfect texture for up to several weeks. Refrigeration before ¾ color change will prevent proper ripening. Refrigeration at 50 F puts a papaya into hibernation, like a bear in winter, slowing its metabolism. Further color change is effectively stopped.
Just like a banana, papaya tastes best when not too green, and not too ripe – it’s perfect when it's three quarters yellow. To keep your papayas at the same perfect taste and texture, put them in the fridge at ¾ color.
Enjoy! Papaya just like you had in Hawaii!