FIVE Quirky Papaya Facts

Papaya Closeup

Papaya is a wonderful tropical fruit that you should be enjoying more of this summer. We’re at peak season. Here are some interesting facts for you:

ONE Eating papaya with lime or lemon juice drizzled on top brings out the best flavors. The acid bite of the citrus perfectly complements the papaya’s creamy mouthfeel and mild flavor. Simply peel, remove seeds, dice, and drizzle acid.

TWO Papaya is a nutrition pleasure. A 3.5 ounce serving (about a cup) is only 40 calories! The fruit is very high in vitamin C (75% of the daily value), has less than 2 tsp worth of natural sugars, and is a good source of folic acid too.

THREE Most of the papaya grown in the US is from Hawaii. They are also most genetically modified! So if you want non GMO papaya – make sure to purchase organic, or to buy imported papaya from Mexico.

FOUR Other ways to eat papaya: 1) when it’s still unripe and green. The most famous dish is spicy green papaya salad. 2) Papaya seeds are also edible. They have a slightly peppery taste. Try them! 3) Young papaya leaves can be steamed and enjoyed like spinach.

FIVE Papaya can be used as a meat tenderizer! It contains an enzyme by the name of papain that works wonders on beef. Keep that in mid the next time you prepare a marinade.

How do you enjoy papaya?

  • Lisa


  • Sara

    Another quirky fact that I heard one time and was really glad to hear it: you either love papaya, or you think it tastes like vomit. I was glad to hear this fact because my taste buds fall in the latter category and I thought I was crazy.

    • Kelli

      The first few time I tried papaya I was in he vomit camp. But somehow I’ve grown to enjoy it, even like it, in some instances. Lime juice does help a lot.

    • Brianne

      I’m glad you point that out! I bought a papaya to make tropical fruit salad a few years back and when I cut it open it smelled to me like diarrhea. I threw it out and haven’t been able to look at it without vomiting since. I know so many love it and don’t have a clue what’s wrong with me that I would smell that but It is true. I just can’t hang with papaya.

      • Brianne

        Without wanting to vomit is what I meant. Actual vomit doesn’t occur.

    • erinfromlongisland

      do you also have a negative reaction/flavor with cilantro?

      • Tyler

        I never knew anyone who had a distaste for papaya. For cilantro – yes. And I can understand that, because although I’ve had cilantro for a long time, I tried parsley only once recently and it tasted bad (like cardboard). I think if you acquire a taste of something from childhood, you won’t really repel from it later in life.

        • erinfromlongisland

          i thinik it has to do with the number of taste buds you have. Look up “super taster”

  • Pete

    This papaya tastes like vomit. Never had a fresh one before. But from what your saying, that’s how it’s supposed to taste. The dried candied ones are delicious. Maybe drying expels the volatile, disgusting component. If so, cooking should too. But that would destroy some of the health-things you other folk care about. I got mine because, what the heck, not too expensive, big fruit, green. What could go wrong? Hopefully not too extreme cooking would be necessary.


    I remember my aunt blending papaya with water when I was little and I loved it but now eating it as is as an adult I almost have to chew quickly and only think of the benefits and swallow hard =/