Knowing When Papaya is Ready to Eat


Papaya is at its peak flavor when the skin has a slight give to your touch. When your papaya is ¾ yellow (and still has some green remaining on the stem end), wash it and cut about ½ inch off the stem end.  Then cut your papaya in half lengthwise.  With a spoon gently remove and discard the seeds (or use the seeds in some recipes, outlined below).  
Your papaya half is ready to spoon out and eat “as is” or add a little lime juice to accent the flavor.  

If your papaya is not quite ripe, there are a few simple steps you can take to help ripen your papaya at home.

The first step in ripening a green papaya is to place it in a paper bag with a ripe banana or apple. This will help to speed up the ripening process by releasing ethylene gas, a natural ripening agent. The papaya should be kept at room temperature and checked daily for ripeness. Once the papaya has started to turn yellow and soften, it can be removed from the bag and eaten.

Another method for ripening is to wrap it in a newspaper and store it in a warm, dark place, such as a pantry or kitchen cupboard. Keep in mind that papaya's are grown in tropical climates, so the temperature of a colder environment can affect the ripening process. Papaya wants to be in a warmer space, so a cupboard is ideal. Be sure to check the papaya daily for ripeness, as it can quickly become overripe. When it is 3/4 yellow, cut open and enjoy.

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