“In the wintertime, in the snow country, citrus fruit was so rare, and if you got one, it was better than ambrosia. “

James Earl Jones

I don’t know how common papaya is to your kitchen, but it’s not very common in mine. My favorite papaya product is smoothies, especially Gray’s Papaya in Manhattan. If you happen to see one your next trip down there, stop in and get the best deal in the city, make sure you get the papaya smoothie! If a trip to NYC isn’t in your near future, make one at home! Since before this experience I had no idea how to prepare a papaya, I figured I’d give a step-by-step way on how to get it ready to make any kind of papaya-based drink you want. Don’t know where to buy one? I got mine at the Fresh Market in Latham. They sell whole and half papayas, I recommend buying the half papaya especially if you’re not sure if you like it. I bought a whole papaya and it left me with more fruit than I knew what to do with. If I remember correctly, though, the whole papaya is cheaper if that’s an issue.

1. If you decide to buy the whole papaya, start by cutting the fruit in half.

2. Though the papaya seeds are good to use for dressings and seasonings, they’re not tasty to eat alone. They have a kind of peppery taste that is not pleasant so scoop those out

3. After you scoop out the seeds, scoops out the membrane lining the inside. It has the same consistency of a pumpkin so it should come out smoothly. Note the difference between the left and the right one that has been scraped out completely.

4. Then, just peel the fruit and cut into however sized chunks you want depending on what you’re going to be doing with them and enjoy!

The flavor isn’t very strong but it is very tasty. Since the flavor is so mild it goes well with just about any fruit but be careful when you add something like bananas to it because it is very easily overpowered. Not only does it taste good but papayas have a lot of health benefits also. Looking for antioxidants when reading the labels at the supermarket? Papaya is a great source of natural antioxidants as well as carotenes, vitamin C and flavonoids; the B vitamins, folate and pantothenic acid; and the minerals, potassium and magnesium; and fiber. It also helps to protect against heart disease, promotes digestive help, has anti-inflammatory effects, immune support, as well as others that can be found at the world’s healthiest food’s website HERE where I found the information.