Cut open papaya on a white cutting board
Interesting Info

Papaya How to Eat It and Taste Test


I really enjoy eating my favorite fruits as well as testing new ones, that I haven’t eaten before. Next up on my list is the amazing and very popular papaya.

In this post, you will learn where they come from and where they grow, how to eat papaya, what the health benefits of the papaya are, what they are used for, and what they taste like.

Join me as we dive into the wonderful world that is papaya!

Where does the papaya come from and where does it grow?

The papaya or Carica papaya (Botannical or Scientific name) is an amazing fruit that grows on a papaya tree. They are native to Mexico and parts of northern South America.

They have long since been cultivated in many countries around the world in tropical and subtropical areas like the Philippines, Thailand, Australia, and India, to name a few.

Here in the United States, they are grown in Hawaii, Florida, Texas, and Southern California, and hobbyists even grow them in their backyard here in Phoenix, Arizona.

The papaya itself looks kind of like a melon and varies in size from smallish to quite large. And botanically, it is classified as a berry, although we don’t normally see it as one.

Papayas grow on trees that average 10 to 15 feet tall. They are incredibly fast-growing although relatively short-lived for a tree, they only live up to 20 years.

Papayas are fairly easy to grow if placed in full sun in well-drained soil, in warm to hot climates. They grow pretty well from seed or you can find them sold at nurseries.

What are the health benefits of papaya?

Papaya growing on a tree

The papaya is an extremely healthy fruit to eat. It is loaded with nutritional benefits. Here are a few of them:

  • Loaded with antioxidants
  • Has anti-cancer properties
  • High in Fiber
  • Very high in Vitamin C
  • High in Vitamin A
  • Good source of Folate and Potassium
  • May improve heart health and fight inflammation

There are many more benefits that you can find in this article.

How to eat papaya?

Hand slicing open a papaya

The papaya can be cut and eaten when it is green and when it is ripe. It is ripe when it is softer to the touch and almost completely yellow.

Wash it well with water on the outside then take a knife and cut down the middle. Very similar to eating most melons.

Spoon scooping out papaya seeds.

You will notice several tiny black seeds that look the size of peppercorns. The inside kind of reminds me of a cantaloupe. The seeds are edible but are kind of bitter. You can rinse and dry the seeds then grind them up and use them in place of pepper. Or eat them whole scattered on other food.

Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Save them for planting, eating, or throwing them away.

Spoon scooping out orange papaya flesh.

You can just scoop out the inside now with a spoon and eat it that way. Or you can slice it lengthwise and eat it with your hands. Very similar to eating a melon.

Although the unripe papaya can be eaten, it is best to cook it first because it has a high latex content. Some cultures will julienne the green papaya and pickle it. Some won’t even cook it and cut it thin and serve it in a salad.

The ripe papaya with its juicy flesh is eaten as is or with yogurt and berries. It can be made into salsa as well with onions, tomatoes, etc. Some people love to put it in their smoothies or chop it up and serve it with avocado on a salad.

What does papaya taste like?

Opened papaya with seeds

Ripe papayas are very juicy with a sweet flavor and creamy texture. It is softer than a melon. I am reminded of a mix between a cantaloupe and mango or maybe a mix between a pumpkin and cantaloupe.

To me, they are quite delicious and refreshing. I can see why they are commonly added to smoothies.

If you haven’t tried papaya before, make sure to pick one up the next time you see them in the store, or head to an Asian supermarket, I am sure they will sell them there. Enjoy!

Check out the video I made about Papaya:

How to Cut and Eat a Papaya | Papaya Taste Test

Here are some recipes and other information you may find interesting:

Lychee How to Eat It and Taste Test

Homemade Donut Pan

Silicone Baking Mats Are They Worth It?

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Jackfruit Seeds How to Eat Them

how to eat papaya pin for Pinterest
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  1. Hi Matt,

    Interesting article, however, Paw Paw and Papaya are entirely. different fruit.

    Paw Paw was native to the mid Atlantic US and Papaya originated in southern Mexico and Central America. I hope one day you get the opportunity to taste a real paw paw, they’re nearly impossible to buy but they are delicious.

  2. This article is very useful. I’ll definitely use this as a reference next time I’m buying papayas!

  3. I honestly never buy papaya because I’m nervous about how to prep it before eating it, so thank you! Now it’s a no-brainer to buy papaya when it’s in season!

  4. This was great. Thanks for the info. I love papaya with lots of lime to cut the sweetness.

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