Papaya – The Berry From The Tropics – Vigorous Herbs
Every year in July the fruit of the year is chosen. This year the papaya bears the title and it has fully earned it. Because whether sweet or savory – tropical fruit can be used in many ways. Their flesh is juicy and sweet, while the seeds are rather spicy. In addition, papaya is rich in vitamin C and aids digestion.
The papaya originally comes from Central America: Mexico and Costa Rica. Nowadays, Brazil, Thailand, Mexico, Australia, West Africa, Hawaii, India, and other tropical areas are the main growing areas for the large berry. From a botanical point of view, papayas are berries – but are also known as tree melons due to their appearance and taste. The round to egg-shaped fruits have yellow-green to golden-yellow skin and grow on palm-like trees up to ten meters high. Inside the fruit, the papaya has up to 1,000 black seeds. Like the pulp, these are edible.
Sweet or savory – the papaya can be used in many ways
When the papaya is ripe, it is yellowish in color and tastes juicy and sweet, like a melon or apricot. It is ideally suited to kiwi, mango, and bananas in fruit salads, as jam, in baked goods, or as juice. But the tropical fruit is also edible when it is less ripe and green. Then, however, it has a rather sour taste and, similar to pumpkin, can be used for heartier dishes, for example, stews, soups, or chutneys. The papaya tastes particularly good with poultry, fish, or seafood. If you prepare the fruit directly with meat, it becomes particularly tender and juicy.
The seeds of the papaya can also be used in the kitchen and give the dishes a slightly peppery note. To do this, simply wash the seeds, dry them and grind them with a mortar. Then they can easily be used as a spice.
As a dried fruit, papaya is a healthy alternative to sweets. But be careful with sulphurized products: Sensitive people can react with nausea, diarrhea, asthma, or headaches. If you want to be on the safe side, it is better to grab the sulphurised dried fruit on the supermarket shelf.
Since papaya hardly oxidizes in the air, it is also ideal for decoration purposes on dishes and cold buffets.
Thanks to its low acidity and mild taste, papaya can already be served with semolina, for example, to toddlers and babies.
Healthy ingredients and good for the figure
The tropical fruit contains loads of healthy nutrients. 100 grams of papaya already cover an adult’s daily requirement for vitamin C. The fruits are also rich in vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, niacin, and fiber.
In addition, the fruit has hardly any calories or fat, but plenty of water and large amounts of the enzymes “papain” and “chymopapain”. Both enzymes help to break down protein better and thus promote digestion. Most papain is found in unripe fruits and seeds.
What you should pay attention to when shopping and storing …
Papayas are available all year round, but there are also main harvest times for tropical berries in the respective countries of origin and, as with all types of fruit and vegetables, buying is recommended. Many papayas are imported to Germany, especially from February to May and November and December.
The fruit is ripe when the skin is yellow and gives way to light finger pressure.
Ripe papayas can be kept in the refrigerator for about a week or three to four days without refrigeration. If you want some of the papayas for a longer time, you can puree the pulp, add a little lemon juice and then freeze the whole thing.
Papayas give off the ripening gas ethylene. This ensures that fruits that are in the immediate vicinity of the papaya wilt faster. Therefore papayas should not be stored in the fruit basket or vegetable compartment with other fruit.
It is best to divide the papayas in half for further processing. The seeds can be easily removed with a spoon. Then the pulp can also be spooned out of the peel or the peel can be peeled from the pulp with a sharp knife or peeler.
Then the papaya can be processed into sweet as well as savory dishes to your heart’s content.
The oven is best for drying the seeds: Place the seeds on a baking sheet and let them dry in the oven at 50 degrees for two to three hours. The best way to keep the kernels is airtight in a jar or jar. Then pour it fresh from a pepper mill over sweet or savory dishes or cook at the same time. (They)