The first step in preparing papaya is choosing one according to its size, texture, and quality. The fresh, ripe papaya is perhaps the most versatile, however even green papaya can enhance many culinary preparations when safely handled.
How to Cut Papaya Fruit
An obligatory first step in any papaya preparation, cutting papaya fruit can be quick and easy with the proper technique and kitchen utensils. This will help to ensure safety and accuracy throughout the entire process.
The outer surface must be thoroughly washed to remove dirt and loose debris. The papaya should be placed on a smooth, even surface like a cutting board or kitchen countertop. Then, using a serrated knife or other sharp blade, the top edge of the papaya should be cut near where the stem is located.
The next step is to cut the papaya in half lengthwise before scooping the seeds from the inner cavity of each half. Finally, the outer skin should be removed using a vegetable peeler or by standing the fruit up and carefully running the blade down the sides in thin strokes.
What to do with Papaya?
Papayas are normally cut into small pieces and served as a fresh breakfast alternative, or as ingredients in cocktails and sweet fruit salads, but they can also be boiled or pickled with salt and vinegar, and mixed into a delicious avocado and papaya salad.
One of the great things about preparing papaya's buttery flesh is that it is easily blended and pureed for use in fresh juices and smoothies, as well as in tropical mixes, like this refreshing papaya and pineapple slushie.
For long-term use, papaya puree can be frozen for up to three months before thawing and blending into sauces, ice creams, and batters for pies, cakes, breads, and other desserts.
Many people like to use the succulent papaya as a main ingredient in their jams and fruit preserves. Fresh chunks of papaya are cooked in a simple syrup of sugar, water, and lemon juice before being transferred into air tight containers and processed using a canning machine.
With the help of an electric food dehydrator, fresh papaya can even be made into a candied sweet meat. Meanwhile the papaya skin makes for an excellent baking vessel for roasted papaya boats and casseroles.
Figuring out how to prepare a papaya is perhaps the only thing complicated about enjoying these scrumptious little fruits. Luckily, with a bit of forethought and creativity, preparing papaya fruit can be a fun, tasty project the whole family can enjoy.
- University of Arkansas, Papaya – A strange name but sweet flavor
- University of Georgia, National Center for Home Food Preservation, Selecting, preparing and canning fruit, Papaya
- Cornell University, Science & Technology of making preserves, Fact sheets for the small scale food entrepreneur
- Penn State University, World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, Drying of papaya (Carica papaya L.) using a microwave-vacuum dryer
- University of Florida, South Florida Tropicals: Papaya
- Purdue University, Papaya, Carica papaya L.