(Carica papaya)



Papaya is best picked when it is half-ripe, still firm, and has a yellow-green color. The fruit is ripe when it is soft and easily bruised. Some varieties of ripe papaya will have a more pink flesh than others.


Yellow-green fruits ripen at room temperature, but ripe fruits should be kept refrigerated. Papaya flesh can be frozen when cut into cubes or pureed but will become very soft when thawed out (Malolo et al., 2001).


  • Wash fruit before use and cut in half to scoop out the seeds.
  • The flesh can be eaten straight from the fruit with a spoon or cut into cubes with a knife without cutting the skin to be scooped out.
  • Ripe papaya is a good breakfast fruit or snack.
  • It can be added to fruit salads, desserts, and dressings, or be made into drinks and preserves.
  • Ripe papaya is a good first food for babies starting to eat solid foods.
  • Green papaya skin is peeled, by cutting off the stalk end to initiate the peel. The pith and seeds should still be removed after cutting in half.
  • Unripe flesh can be sliced, grated or cooked with fish and other meats, for chutneys, and for pickling.
  • Be careful not to get sap on skin when peeling as it can irritate the skin
  • (Malolo et al., 2001).

Photo Source

J. Hollyer


Papaya or pawpaw is a versatile fruit that is abundant throughout the Pacific and even in some atolls. There are a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors of fruits that normally turn from dark green to yellow-orange or pink when ripe (Samson, 1986). There are generally three types of papaya trees: the female, the male, and the hermaphrodite. The female bears fruits when pollinated by the male tree, which does not bear fruit. The hermaphrodite tree has both male and female flowers, and thus can bear fruit independently (Malolo et al., 2001)

Traditional Names
  • Chamorro – påpaya
  • Chuukese – kipwau
  • Hawaiian – mīkana
  • Kosraean – es
  • Marshallese – keinappu
  • Palauan – bobai
  • Pohnpeian – mamiap
  • Samoan – esi
  • Yapese – babay; bweibwai