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HOW TO ? select & store PapaYAH

 

 

 

 

 

       1/4 ripe            1/2 ripe              3/4 ripe            fully ripe

Look for papayas with smooth unblemished skin, that are partly or completely yellow in color depending on the variety, that give slightly to pressure, but are not soft at the stem-end. A few black or green spots on the surface will not affect the papaya’s taste. As with most fresh fruit, papayas bruise easily, so they should be handled with care. Avoid papayas that are bruised, shriveled, or have soft areas as damages can spoil the flavor of the fruit. Uncut papayas have no smell. Papayas that are cut should have a sweet-musky smell, not bad or fermented.

Papayas are shipped to the market mature but at various degrees of ripeness. Purchased at any stage of ripeness, papayas can easily be ripened at home by leaving slightly green fruit at room temperature, especially in a paper bag, and refrigerating until they are ¾ to mostly yellow. At that point they are ready to eat. Ripe papayas can be wrapped in a dry tea towel and stored in the refrigerator. Papayas will keep for up to a week, and can be eaten at any stage of ripeness since the fruits are fully mature.  In fact, the less ripe the papaya the more the enzyme plenty it is.  If you have a glut of papaya, half them, de-seed, peel and then freeze using them for smoothies.

Judging the degree of ripeness is best determined by eye rather than touch. Colour is usually the key to ripe fruit. When in doubt, the rounded end will yield slightly to finger pressure when ripe. The following chart will help you select papayas as to the degree of ripeness you prefer:

 

Color

Stage of Ripeness

Ripening Time at Room Temperature

Green, with slight yellow tinge at larger end.

¼ ripe

5 – 7 days at room temperature.
1/3 yellow, 2/3 green.

½ ripe

2 – 4 days at room temperature.
1/2 yellow, 1/2 green.

¾ ripe

1 –2 days at room temperature.
Mostly yellow or yellow-orange.

100% ripe

Ready to eat.

 

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