Saturday, April 16, 2011

Maradol Papaya

Papaya is a fruit native to the American tropics and was first cultivated in southern Mexico before the classic Mesoamerican cultures. It is now cultivated in most tropical countries. The unripe green fruit can be eaten cooked in curries, salads and stews. I'm usually familiar with it in Thai dishes. The ripe fruit is usually eaten raw. In particular, the Maradol papaya 
comes from Mexico and Central America, usually weighs 3 to 5 pounds and has an elongated shape. 
The Maradols grown in Belize are marketed under the names Caribbean Sunrise or Caribbean Red. When ripe, the green skin turns to a yellow or orange with freckles 
and it has a red or salmon pink flesh that is very sweet. You cut them in half, lengthwise, 
remove the black seeds, and scoop out the flesh and eat it. 
People will often add a squeeze of lime juice and a dusting of cayenne pepper. For some it is an acquired taste - it can be a bit musky. It is one of the few foods Judy will not eat. 
Just the smell of it can turn her green, particularly on a warm day. The papayas I am familiar with from my youth are grown in Hawaii. They tend to have a stubby neck and a slightly bulbous body. Their flesh is lighter and the taste is a little stronger, more sweet, but less musky. I recall loving them from the initial taste and love the soft, buttery texture, especially when chilled a little, as well as the taste. 

8 comments:

  1. Yuck. I would have to really work at liking these, and quite frankly, life is too short.

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  2. I LOVE PAPAYA! MMM buying a bag from a street vendor with chili powder and salt sprinkled on! Or eating a cube wrapped in prosciutto with cracked black pepper on top!

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  3. The prosciutto and pepper sounds really good. I think I may also have had it that way. You are the king of street vendor food.

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  4. i LUV papaya i am growing about 10 in New Orleans, just coming to fruit. almost lost them in the winter, but they are coming back

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  5. I'm with Judy. Maridol papayas stink. Something about the taste and smell is just off-putting. At first I thought I just sliced open a bad one, but they're all like that. Hawaiian papayas on the other hand are great, but also much smaller and more expensive.

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  6. We buy these in our local Mexican supermarket and they are wonderful. They are already golden on the outside with some green background when we buy them. We then leave them sit out on a counter for another three, four, and sometimes five days until they look like they are about to go bad, but that's when they are actually at their peak. Don't cut them too early. Be patient until they look like they are almost too far gone and you will be especially pleased.

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  8. I was talked into trying Papaya for the first time recently because of the health benefits that are so loudly touted. Well, benefits or not, I wouldn't give a nickle for another one. Nothing I could think of improved that terrible taste. So I'm sorry, but for me, Papaya isn't what I need at all.

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