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Native to the tropics of the Americas, perhaps from Southern Mexico and neighboring Central America.  Papayas are generally pear shaped.  The texture is similar to that of a mango.  Papayas are subtly sweet and the seeds are tart and peppery.

Growing Area
Native to tropical Southern and Central America.  Also grown in Jamaica, Belize, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Florida.
Handling and Storage
You will know when a papaya is ripe when it feels soft and its skin is an amber to orange hue.  Bruised appearances are normal and will not detract from the taste of the fruit.  If you buy an  unripe papaya it will ripen at room temperature in one to three days.  You do not eat the skin.  To eat – cut the papaya in half lengthwise and open into two sections, scrape out the seeds using a spoon.  Try not to scoop out the flesh along with the seeds.  The seeds can be used for other things such as salad dressing.  Scoop out the fruit with a spoon or with an ice cream scoop to make melon balls for a fruit salad.  Keep papayas in the refrigerator for a day or two to prevent them from ripening quickly.
Red, Yellow, Green, Maradol, Sunrise, Caribbean Red, Mexico, Belize, Jamaican Gift Papay
Peak season is June through September.  They are available year round.

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