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Please help me eat papaya

I want to eat papaya for the health benefits. I bought one yesterday. The big kind, like eggplant size. I'm pretty sure it was ripe as it was soft to the touch, yellow with brown spots, looked like it was starting to rot a bit in places. I cut it up this morning and I really didn't like the taste. I read about the odd smell but I don't think I smelled much. It was not sweet, kind of bland with an off taste. I know I'll not be able to eat it as is.

I made a smoothie with blueberries and raspberries and a little milk. I could drink it okay but I'm going to need other suggestions as I won't want that every day. Any suggestions that might be tastier? I'm starting to think that maybe it would pair well with other tropical fruits like pineapple and mango. I still think I'm going to have to go with juicing unless somebody has a better idea.

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  1. There are a huge number of varieties of papayas. Stay away from the large ones. Find small firm yellow to red types.

    Some add seasoning. Try freshly grated nutmeg, coarse salt, minced habanero or milder.

    If you can find the hard green ones, they can be cooked like any other veggie.

    1 Reply

      Green papayas are great in stews. They also tenderize the meat. Ripe papayas are great chilled with a squeeze of lemon.

    2. are you a man or woman?
      sorry-I don't know. yes there's a reason I'm asking.
      first buy another and have a produce person pick it out for you.
      eat it with other tropical flavors. the texture DOES throw many off and the flavor IS perfume-y. two common complaints.
      I love the stuff but also love mango pineapple guava and passion fruit. they're very good for me.....
      however our DD doesn't eat mango or papaya-she breaks out so......

      5 Replies
      1. re: iL Divo

        Woman. Why, is there something in my chromosomes that make me hate papaya??

        1. re: Jpan99

          why'd I know I'd get asked ?
          never mind-it pertained to men healthy beneficial

        2. re: iL Divo

          Man or woman??? What is the reason?

          1. re: iL Divo

            I'm still wondering... man or woman? what is the "reason?"

            1. re: wyogal

              Because according to the Internet it can cause miscarriages or induce a period in women and reduce sperm count in men?

          2. Squeeze some fresh lime juice onto your papaya. This really transforms it.

            6 Replies
            1. re: bcc

              Agree about the squeeze of lime...papaya has a distinct smell of baby sh!t..

              1. re: Beach Chick

                That's gross. I did not smell that!

                1. re: Beach Chick

                  Not even close to baby shit. Dirty socks, maybe but really it's just slightly musty

                  I love. My wife hates it

                  1. re: Beach Chick

                    It smells like Vomit to me, I think that our Stomachs and Papaya produce some of the same Enzymes.

                    1. re: chefj

                      I think so, too. Can't stand the stuff.

                      1. re: chefj

                        Papaya is great for the stomach and the digestive tract in general.

                  2. agree with squeezing lime. also, i realized that most papaya is imported and tastes bad. I also just read that a lot of regular papaya is GMO so if you find organic then go for it if you're concerned about GMO's. i never liked papaya until i took a trip to mexico and realized it can be good but it has to be fresh for me. Just hold your nose and eat. good luck.

                    1. In Mexico papaya is usually eaten with a good squeeze of lime and salt. Really brings out the flavor.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: mpad

                        Ah yes, that's how I ate it at Sanborns. Good stuff, and with jicama too.

                        1. re: BuildingMyBento

                          Even better when eaten the way I ate it growing up - with lime and *brown sugar*. Now you are talking.

                          1. Choose papayas from Belize (when you can) over those from Mexico ... they just taste better. If you have to, mix cubed papaya with cubed cantaloupe in your serving bowl.
                            I like mine without any add-ins, but grapes work well too. HTH.

                            1. I ate papaya in Fiji and loved, loved, loved it. The stuff we get in the States is crap.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: pikawicca

                                Yeah, I never really liked pineapple until I went to Hawaii. The pineapples we get here are crap too. The pineapples they eat in Hawaii are like nectar of the Gods!

                              2. You can find the same nutrients in many other fruits and vegetables. Papayas are rich in Vitamins A and C, folates, potassium, and fiber as well as carotenes and flavonoids.
                                No need to choke down something you don't like.

                                If you are determined to eat papaya anyway, try the ataulfo aka champagne mango from Mexico. The suggestions of lime and pepper are very good, too.

                                I personally HATE avocado and I know it is one of the foods that would be part of a healthy diet, but I eat a very varied diet that includes many other foods that provide the same nutrients as avocado.

                                I was surprised to read in one of the comments that much papaya is GMO, so I researched it. Apparently, this is one of the many GMO products coming from Hawaii.


                                1. I prefer papaya that's closer to under than overripe, and brown spots is waaaay past it for me.
                                  I find the seeds have a very distinctive ...aroma...and need to be scooped out thoroughly.
                                  And the lime makes a massive difference.

                                  1. Papaya Salsa is what they called it, but it's more like a papaya salad. Very good.

                                    1. I pureed the papaya with fresh pineapple, some lime juice, a couple tablespoons of sugar. Definitely works better with the pineapple. Still don't like the taste, think I'll go look for the smaller varieties to see if they taste better.

                                      1. The main distinctions I've seen, are between Mexican papaya
                                        (large, lousy), and Hawaiian papaya (smaller, much better flavor). I feel the proper stage of ripeness is just when they begin to get spots. YMMV. Lime is good with it.

                                        And like pineapples, they're much better IN Hawaii.

                                        1. We just came back from a trip to Ecuador and the Papaya tasted very different from the Supermarket or even from a farm around here. It was delicious! There is a big difference between ripe and eaten on location and picked half green and laying around before it hits the shelves here.

                                          1. Hi, you must have gotten a bad papaya :(
                                            There is a type of papaya that is large and round, usually yellow and from Mexico, that is called "Maradol". If you didn't like it the first time, you should go for another variety that is also large and from Guatemala, Belize, or Mexico, and called "Tainung" or "Formosa". Unfortunately stores don't make a distinction, but google Tainung or Formosa and then Maradol and you will see a difference. The Tainung is ready to eat when still a little green, it has no funky smell and is sweet and mild.
                                            Then there is the Brazilian small papaya (Golden variety), that is even better. No smell, no weird taste, and for sure not GMO. Only Hawaiian papayas are GMO.
                                            Lately I'm obsessed with eating it with yoghurt and cereal.
                                            If you have a small Brazilian papaya, cut it lengthwise, remove the seeds, put greek yoghurt in the cavity and sprinkle it with cereal (and some honey if you want). Best breakfast ever!

                                            1. Two possibilities.

                                              First, you and papaya are not meant to be, so I won't try to force this relationship more than necessary.

                                              Second, you happen to run across a bad papaya, and you should not let one bad experience to ruin all your future relationship.

                                              I suggest you to try a different papaya, and preferably a smaller papaya.

                                              1. I've come up with the following blend which is really tasty. In the blender toss in a few ice cubes. Add scooped out flesh of two small papayas, one pineapple chopped up, juice of one lime, couple tablespoons brown sugar. Blend. Optional, toss in some mango.

                                                The fresh pineapple has lots of health benefits too so this is both very nutritious and very delicious!

                                                1. It's tricky sometimes. If you find a sweet fresh delicious papaya, you will be in heaven. Bland and mushy, add to the blender with mangoes for a nice smooth. Don't forget the flax seed oil.