Description

Eating a papaya is like taking a trip to the tropics. Originating in Mexico, papaya is now grown in most warm cimates worldwide. There are many cultivars and hybrids of papaya resulting in some variation in the size and shape of the fruit. Additionally, papaya flowers are male, female or bisexual and the fruits that develop from each of these flowers have somewhat different characteristics. Nowadays, for marketing purposes in this country, papayas are generally grouped into two catagories. Hawaiian or Brazillian varieties run smaller in size and are shipped in 10 lb flats. The flesh is bright yellow or pink, depending on variety, with small black seeds clustered in the center. Mexican papayas are much larger and can weigh up to 10 lbs each and are salmon pink in color. A properly ripened papaya is juicy and sweet. Papayas lead the pack when it comes to vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, niacin, calcium, folate, riboflavin, thiamine, potassium and fiber. Papaya also contains a beneficial enzyme, papain, which aids digestion.

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