Last week as my daughter and I were exploring the produce section, we came across a strange looking creature that was labelled "papaya fruit." I picked it up and asked my daughter if we should try it; she scrunched up her face and said "no" and headed for the blackberries. But I was curious, so I put it in my cart anyway.
Not the prettiest thing I've ever eaten; it's easy to see why she wasn't impressed.
However, papayas are rich in many nutrients so I figured it was worth trying. According to WHF, one medium papaya gives you 224% RDA of vitamin C, 87% RDA of vitamin A, 25% RDA of folate, and is a significant source of fiber, magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants, all for only 119 calories. These nutrients are beneficial to the cardiovascular system and provide protection against colon cancer. Papaya also contains the enzymes papain and chymopapain, which reduce inflammation.
So, we cut the papaya in half and got this:
I read that the seeds are edible and taste peppery. Errr, they did not look so appetizing with the slime all over them. They kind of reminded me of frog eggs in a stream. But being adventurous, I tried one. And spit it out. No. Just, no.
Then we scooped the seeds out of one half and cut the fruit into pieces.
It was beautiful and golden, but it did not have much of a smell. The texture was very much like a ripe cantaloupe. And the taste was mild and bland and slightly sweet, also reminiscent of an (overly) ripe, mealy cantaloupe. Honestly, it was a letdown. Apparently if you go to Hawaii, you will get fresh papaya and swoon over it and want to eat it every day forever. But this one, whether because of the type or the level of ripeness, was not tasty at all. It wasn't *bad*, just didn't have much flavor and lacked a distinctive taste.
Since none of us liked it, it went back into the fridge. After further research, I found a suggestion to mash it up and use it to exfoliate your skin. You wash your face with it, basically, rubbing it on and leaving it on for up to 5 minutes and then rinsing it off with cool water. I think I will give that a try.
If you've had a better experience with papaya, please leave me a comment and let me know your secret!