Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How to... Buy, Cut, & Prepare Fresh Papaya

I've always wondered how to cut a papaya, but my fear and little knowledge of the fruit overcame me every time... until now. I love tropical flavors, and I thought my Tropical Fruit Salad would be lovely with this fruit. I had to do a little research, but it was well worth the (minimal) effort! The tropical flavor was phenomenal, and I now LOVE this fruit. See how easy it is to incorporate this into your next tropical dish.

1. Choose a good papaya: Look for a skin that is turning from green to yellow. Look for skin that is fairly smooth- not torn or cracked. You should be able to press your thumb slightly into the flesh- if it's too soft/mushy or has a sweet smell to it, the papaya is overripe.

2. Rinse the papaya: Rinse papaya under cool water to remove any dirt or dust.
3. Cut papaya in half: Using a large, sharp knife, cut the papaya in half length-wise. If your papaya is ripe, this should be easy to do.

4. Open the Papaya: Open up the papaya and separate it into two sections.

5. Scrape out the Seeds with a Spoon: Using a large spoon, scrape out the seeds. The easiest way to do this is to hold the papaya over the garbage can and scrape downward. Try not to cut too deeply with your spoon, or you may lose quite a bit of the fruit.

6. Peel the Papaya: The easiest way to do this is to hold the papaya vertically and run your knife downward along the skin in long slices. Again, try not to slice too deeply, or you will lose a lot of the fruit.

7. Slice the Papaya into Wedges. For cubes, slices wedges into cubes or chunks.

To Store Papaya: Store leftover prepared fruit in closed containers in refrigerator. Fresh papaya will keep for up to 1 week.

Source: How to Buy, Cut, & Prepare Fresh Papaya


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