November 18, 2023

How to Tell If a Papaya is Ripe

A papaya that’s ripe has sweet, juicy flesh, and a mild fragrance. It’s a tropical fruit with many uses, and you can find it in most grocery stores. It’s also a staple in Caribbean cuisine.

The color of the papaya is a good indicator of its ripeness. A ripe papaya will have the skin begin to turn from green to yellow. A ripe papaya will be soft to the touch, but it should not be mushy. A ripe papaya will smell sweet and rich, with a slight musky aroma.

If you’re shopping for a ripe papaya, choose one with a deep yellow hue that has some orange tones and is slightly soft to the touch. It should have no blemishes or bruises, and the flesh should feel a little bit sticky, according to Medical News Today. Papayas grown and harvested close to market or being shipped quickly tend to taste better than those that have traveled far or been in storage for weeks.

Almost-green papayas are typically sold in produce sections near leafy greens, and with other fruits like taro and sweet potato. The papayas in these aisles can usually be relegated to the refrigerator section and kept there for a few days until they’re ready to use. They can also be put in a paper bag with an ethylene-producing fruit like bananas or apples to speed up the ripening process. Green papayas with blotchy areas or soft spots should be avoided, as these are often a sign of old age or poor storage.

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