The papaya is a fruit that has been thought to have originated in Mexico or South America. The papaya fruit has a bit of a musky flavor that is mildly sweet, and it also has a texture similar to that of warm butter. Some people love the taste and feel of the papaya, others not so much; it’s an acquired taste. There are two varieties of Papayas, the Hawaiian papaya, and the Mexican Papaya. The Hawaiian papaya produces small to medium-sized fruit, aptly named “Solo Papaya.” In contrast, the Mexican papaya has larger fruit, around two to three times the size of its Hawaiian counterpart.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Order: Brassicales
- Family: Caricacear
- Genus: Carica
- Species: C. papaya
- Binomial name: Carica papaya
- The papaya contains an enzyme that is commonly used in meat tenderizing powders called papain.
- The papaya is thought to have skin moisturizing and whitening properties and is used as a component to beauty soaps throughout Asia.
- In some parts of the world, the papaya leaves are made into a tea to protect against malaria.
- The papaya variant is Hawaii is the first genetically modified food to be introduced into the United States food supply.
- The papaya fruit is also known as “Paw Paw.”