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National Papaya Month



September is National Papaya month. Often incorrectly called Paw Paw which belongs to the genus Asimina, papaya is different genus -Carica. It is a tropical fruit native to Central America but can now be found growing throughout tropical regions. Strictly speaking the plant is not a tree, but a herbaceous plant which grows to 30 feet.

A mature papaya is typically between 15cm/6 inches  and 45cm/18-inches long, weighs from  300g/11oz to several pounds and ranges from round-ish to pear shaped.  Ripe papayas have a golden skin, a bright orangey pink flesh and a central cavity  packed with black seeds which, whilst edible are usually discarded. They can be eaten raw or cooked in desserts and the taste has been described as a cross between mango and peach, though generally milder in flavour. 


The green unripe fruit can also used in savoury dishes and is particularly useful when used in meat stews, where the enzyme papain, which occurs naturally in the flesh, acts as a meat tenderizer.  Papain is also an effective natural digestive aid, which breaks down protein and cleanses the digestive track.


Nationally, papayas are rich in  vitamin C, folic acid and potassium and are a good source of fibre, vitamin A, vitamin E, the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, and lycopene.

To find all the papaya recipes on this site, just use the search page.

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