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Papaya just right for green papaya salad - how to tell?

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The latest batch of green papaya salad isn't the best ever. The papaya was TOO green. Tasted a little woody. But I had already peeled it and cleaned it, and my roomies were expecting salad, so I cut it into the tiniest bits possible (no food processor) and hoped for the best. It's OK. I only used some of the papaya, will try cooking the rest with some chicken.

I never seem to buy papayas at JUST the right stage for salad. Either they're too close to ripe (too soft and sweet) or too green (too firm, not sweet at all). How do I tell?

I should perhaps add that I live in Honolulu and we can buy local papayas year round.

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  1. Since we are moving to a house soon that has 3 papaya trees laden with fruit, I researched this recently and came across this page that mentions selection and storage (among other things): http://www.tarladalal.com/glossary-gr...

    It says, the firmer the better... but your experience suggests otherwise. I wonder if it's also dependent on variety or growing conditions?

    I'm also very interested in having some more specific information. If I come across it, I'll let you know.