What does papaya taste like? Is it sweet? Maybe not totally sweet but with a hint of sour?
In reality, the taste of papaya depends on its ripeness.
Many people out there don’t like papaya. They find this fruit to be smelly. And for that reason, they don’t even attempt to eat it.
But, if the people knew the hacks to choose the perfect papaya that would not smell bad and stinky, and if they knew about all the amazing facts regarding papaya- they could make the perfect discussion for them.
What does papaya taste like- is a common question But if you consider eating papaya, you need to know about its nutrition and benefits as well.
Don’t worry! We’re here to help. In this article, we’ll explain what papaya is, what they taste like, how their taste varies, and how to choose the papaya with the best taste.
Additionally, we’ll also discuss the calorie count and nutrition of papaya, their health benefits, and to help you people get all those benefits, we’ll also share some preparations of papaya that everyone- especially the children would consume happily.
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Table of Contents
What is papaya?
Papaya is a tropical fruit that grows mostly in Mexico, the countries of South America, and all other countries in the tropical region. Apart from these places, it grows in Caribbean islands and a few countries in Asia too.
Papaya is green before it ripens, after that it gradually turns from light yellow to bright orange.
And we are not talking about the skin only, the color change applies to the flesh of papaya equally.
Papaya has seeds inside, and the interesting fact is that those seeds too are edible.
The papaya tree belongs to the Caricaceae family of trees. They are mid-heightened and delicate plants. Papaya grows on the top to middle license of the, maintaining their distance from the leaves.
What makes papaya even better is it has no harvesting season. The harvest of papaya depends on the time one planted the plant. Papaya grows and ripens within six to nine months after planting the plant.
This fruit is available every month of the year.
What does papaya taste like?
If we have to explain the answer with an example, we would say that papaya tastes quite similar to cantaloupe melons. And properly ripe papaya tastes like tropical mango.
But, explaining the taste only through examples might not be enough. And this is actually understandable.
Because we can not guarantee that everyone who is reading this article now has tasted cantaloupe melons or mangos.
So here it goes, the taste of papaya depends on its ripeness.
Green Papaya test
While it is still green, papaya tastes watery, with a slight hint of saltiness. And as it is still unripe, the flesh of papaya is still hard.
Ripe and overripe Papaya test
When it ripens a bit, the taste evolves into slightly sweet. With ripening, papaya’s flesh starts to soften as well.
Once fully ripe, papaya’s flesh gets a buttery texture. It will melt when you put it inside your mouth. And the taste becomes pleasant sweet with a very faint hint of sourness. That mixture of flavors makes papaya taste even more mouth-watering.
A lot of people have complaints that papaya smells bad. This is true, and the reason behind is papain. It is a kind of enzyme you will find only in papaya. The enzyme itself is helpful for the human body.
But that doesn’t stop papaya from tasting bad, right?
At least you can choose the perfect papaya that will be less smelly and tastier.
We’ll explain the hacks to do so.
How to choose the perfect papaya?
If you want to eat papaya as a fruit, you need to choose ripe papaya. And if you want to eat it as a salad or if you want to cook papaya, you need to choose it unripe.
There goes the trouble- if you have papaya trees at your place or if you have farms nearby; you can easily get the perfect papaya without any hassle. But other than that, when you have to buy this fruit from shops, choosing the most perfect papaya would be a little tricky.
The hacks will be different for ripe and unripe ones.
Why does some papaya taste bitter?
Papaya usually tastes sweet while the unripe ones might taste flavorless.
But, if you pick immature papaya, it will taste bitter. That is because the immature ones did not develop the flavors yet.
They have some toxins in them that gradually vanish as they mature. If you eat papaya before it matures, it might taste bitter.
Why does papaya taste like vomit?
A lot of people have complaints that papaya smells like vomit. And some complain that it tastes like vomit.
While the first one is true, and the reason behind is papain. As I said before, It is a kind of enzyme you will find only in papaya. The enzyme itself is helpful for the human body.
But that doesn’t stop papaya from smelling bad, right?
But hey! The second assumption that papaya tastes like vomit are a wrong assumption. Papaya tastes really great!
If you can choose the perfect papaya that will be less smelly and tastier.
We’ll explain the hacks to do so.
How do I choose ripe papaya?
Papaya starts to smell bad when it ripens. This is why choosing ripe papaya is a little tricky.
Because ripe papaya is the most popular version of this fruit as people eat papaya as a normal, regular fruit only when it ripens.
Also, ripe papaya has such a great buttery texture and thick, sweet flavor that it is hard to resist the craving.
Don’t worry. You don’t need to hold back just because it smells bad.
The hack to avoid bad smells is quite simple: get ripe papaya that is small in size. The smaller the size, the lesser the smell.
Also, small and ripe papaya tastes the sweetest. The larger it grows, the sweetness gets reduced and it tastes blander.
Now the question is, how can someone tell if the papaya is ripe enough when they are buying it from a shop?
There are three ways to know the answer.
- The color of papaya usually provides a good answer. Ripe papaya has a yellow to orange color outside. That’s right, if you want to eat sweet papaya, don’t pick the green ones.
- The texture can give you the answer too. As papaya ripens, its texture starts to soften as well. The softer it feels, the more ripe the papaya is. That is the hack.
- The smell is also important. Now, we all know that you want to avoid bad smells. For that purpose, you just need to avoid the large ones. When you go to pick small yet ripe papaya, smell it. It won’t smell that stinky, but it would still have a strong and rich odor. This is the sign of ripe papaya.
Once you pick perfect ripe papaya, you can enjoy the sweetness easily.
How to pick the best unripe papaya?
Unripe papaya doesn’t smell bad, or strong. This is why a lot of people prefer unripe papaya.
Though it is not sweet, unripe papaya serves as a great vegetable. You can use it for salad, you could eat it raw, you can cook it. In fact, in Asia, papaya curry is very popular.
Now, the question is how to pick the best unripe papaya? You need to make sure that you’re not picking the immature one that would taste like rubber.
Like the ripe ones, unripe papaya has three signs that you need to read carefully.
- The color is important. Now, don’t pick the dark green ones. They’re still immature. Eating unripe fruit doesn’t mean eating the immature ones. Pick the ones that have light green skin outside.
- The texture is another important sign. Of course, the unripe one would have a hard texture. But the perfect papaya which would taste good while unripe will not be rock-hard either. It will be more like soil-hard.
- And most importantly, unripe papaya doesn’t smell strong.
Just follow these three steps and you’ll be able to pick the perfect unripe papaya for your salad or curry!
Calorie count of papaya
Papaya is medium on calories. But the amount of calories varies on the papaya itself. Let’s see-
- Every 100 grams of ripe papaya can provide 39 calories. A sweet way to get calories it seems.
- But while it’s still unripe, every 100 grams of unripe papaya contains 32 calories. The amount is less than when it’s ripe though.
- And once you cook it, the amount reduces even more. Cooked papaya has 27 calories per 100 grams.
That means, if you need more calories, you should eat ripe, raw papaya. But if you are looking for a low-calorie option, cooked papaya is the better choice.
Nutrition facts of papaya
Papaya is a highly nutritious fruit, you can tag it as a vegetable too.
We have already learned that it has a good amount of calories as well.
Now, moving forward, we’d like to see the nutrition values that this tropical fruit possesses. Let’s move to it!
NB: The table is based on 100 grams of ripe, raw papaya.
|Name of nutrient
|The daily value (%)
|Work of the nutrient
|Carbohydrates, or carns in short- are responsible for body growth and power production of the body. This nutrient helps the children during their growth phase, and it helps people of every age to keep moving by producing energy.
|Protein works to build up the body muscle. It is also responsible for giving body tissue and cells shape. Plus, protein makes up hair, bones, and nails too. The lack of protein often results in terrible muscle diseases.
|Potassium is important for the health of muscles and the nervous system in the human body. It also helps the nutrients to reach the cells of the human body. As papaya provides a good amount of potassium, it is only natural that the nutritionists often suggest this fruit to keep good nerves.
|This one is common knowledge. Calcium is responsible for our bones, and teeth. The lack of calcium in the human body causes various troubles regarding bones- especially with backbone and teeth. Papaya contains a good amount of calcium, and that might help you have strong bones!
|If you want your blood to remain good, you need to ensure that you’re getting proper iron intake. Iron keeps the hemoglobin level balanced and thus it prevents anemia. Papaya hence is great for anemic people.
|Sodium’s primary job is to keep body fluid in check and keep it balanced. This mineral is also good for the health of the kidney and nervous system. Sodium deficiency during childhood hampers the child’s brain development. Feed your children papaya, it would help them.
|Vitamin A is one of the most important vitamins out there. It is great for your eyesight, great for your blood, and great for your skin too! Vitamin A not only keeps you healthy but also pretty as well. Consuming foods with vitamin A keeps night-blindness away. And papaya is a great source of this vitamin.
|Vitamin C is a critical vitamin. It is somewhat rare because this vitamin is mostly plant-sourced. And once you cook the source, vitamin C vanishes. They stay intact only in raw fruits and vegetables. This vitamin is helpful to build a good immune system, and raw papaya can help with that.
Are you surprised to know that this fruit has so many amazing nutrition values in it?
No matter how nutritious the fruit is, there are a lot of people, especially children who despise papaya.
But it is important to eat balanced and healthy foods, right?
If you can not eat papaya because of how it smells, you can simply make other preparations of papaya and enjoy the sweetness and nutrition values without smelling it.
Here, we’ll provide you with the info about some delicious papaya preparations that would be too good to resist!
This is one of the most popular preparations out there.
But did you know that papaya juice has different flavors too?
If you get a ripe papaya juice, it will offer you, thick sweetness. But if you want something lighter and refreshing, unripe papaya juice would be the better option.
The making process is quite easy.
Cut the papaya into small pieces, put them in the blender along with the amount of sugar you prefer, and water. Blend them all, you can filter it before or while pouring it into the glass if you want.
You might add one or two pieces of ice cubes if you wish.
See, this is simple. And many people won’t be able to say ripe papaya juice apart from mango juice. Even kids love it!
And the best fact about papaya juice is, the calorie and nutrition values stay almost the same as raw papaya!
This preparation doesn’t only taste good, but it is also great for storing.
Unripe papaya is more popular for making pickles, but you can make some with ripe ones too.
The process is easy. Cut the papaya into pieces, put them in a pan with some oil and sugar, a little sugar, and add some water. And then boil it for a while.
Once it starts to spread the aroma and the water dries, get the pan down, and cool the preparation.
You can now keep it in a jar for a long time. Everyone, including the children, are going to love these papaya pickles!
The calorie count and nutrition values might reduce a bit, but it will still be nutritious and tasty.
Raw, unripe papaya makes a great salad.
Unripe papaya doesn’t smell either.
The preparation is surprisingly simple. Just cut the papaya into shapes you like, mix it with the pieces of other vegetables or fruits or just keep it unmixed. Use seasonings or sauces per your taste.
Come on! Salad is a personalized recipe, everyone makes it the way they like.
So, if you make your personal papaya salad, you’re bound to love it!
As you make salad with raw papaya, the calorie count and nutrition values will the exactly the same.
Papaya curry is a popular dish in South Asia. Especially in Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
They use both ripe and unripe papaya to cook their curry.
The recipe varies though, but there is something common. They use a lot of Asian spices and oil while cooking. And the papaya curry in the Indian subcontinent is rich in flavor for the usage of all those spices.
Though cooking papaya reduces the calorie count and nutrition a little, the curry is still healthy. In Asia, they often eat papaya curry as a remedy.
You can try it too!
Health benefits of papaya
It is no surprise that papaya has a lot of health benefits considering the number of nutrition elements it has.
Papaya is a carb-type fruit, but the carbs in it are mostly fibers; which is healthy. Plus, papaya also contains a good amount of vitamins and minerals.
Let’s explore the amazing health benefits that papaya is to offer.
Papaya is diabetes-friendly
Papaya is low in carbs, and the carbs in it are mostly fibers.
That means papaya is diabetes-friendly.
But that’s not all. Papaya has some antioxidants that are helpful to reduce the harmful effects of diabetes.
Papaya is gluten-free
Being gluten-free means this fruit is safe for people with celiac disease.
Celiac diseases are troublesome medical conditions in which the diagnosed person gets an immune reaction if they eat anything that contains gluten.
Papaya, as a gluten-free fruit, is a safe option.
Also, gluten-free foods are helpful for skin health too.
Papaya is helpful for both inside and outside it seems.
Papaya is beneficial for the heart
It is because of the antioxidants in papaya.
Papaya possesses a good amount of antioxidants that help reduce blood cholesterol.
That, by default, helps the heart stay healthy.
Papaya reduces the risks of heart failure, stroke, and high blood pressure.
Papaya has anticancer properties
This is true. Papaya has anti-cancer properties.
Cancer has no fixed medicine, this is why they say it’s better to prevent than cure.
Consuming foods that have anticancer properties regularly reduces the risk of cancer.
The anticancer properties in papaya especially work against the risks of breast cancer and leukemia.
Is Papaya good for children?
Yes it is, because it has potassium, iron, and vitamin A.
These vitamins and minerals are beneficial for the children because-
- Vitamin A reduces the risks of night-blindness. Children need to eat foods with vitamin A more because it would help them develop better vision.
- Iron deficiency causes anemia, this is why you need to make sure that the children at your place are getting lots of iron.
- Potassium helps the children’s brain, muscle, and bone development. Papaya can be a great choice during their growth.
What do you think about all those amazing health benefits?
Probable side effects of papaya
Papaya is great. But like every other thing in the world, it too has risks.
Papaya possesses three potential risks.
- Papaya can cause troubles during pregnancy. Though ripe papaya is fine, eating semi or unripe papaya during pregnancy can cause complications.
- Overconsumption of papaya might cause a sudden blood-sugar fall.
- There are a few people allergic to papaya. Eating this fruit might cause them allergic reactions and breathing issues.
Apart from these, the fruit is amazing. And despite the smell, papaya tastes really good!
Don’t hold back, eat it if you’re not allergic or pregnant.
And of course, for any kind of physical discomfort, please contact a doctor.
As after this article you have found the answer to what does papaya taste like, we hope you won’t hold back from adding this fruit to your diet.
After all, a healthy diet leads to a healthy life!