Continued from Papaya Nutrition. One variety to consider is the Solo, grown in Hawaii and Florida. This pear-shaped papaya is about six inches long and can weigh one to two pounds. When ripe, its skin has a vivid golden-yellow hue, while the flesh can range from red and pink to orange.
Papaya is juicy and buttery smooth, with an exotic flavor that’s a bit like apricot and ginger. The center cavity is full of shiny, grayish-black seeds that are usually discarded, as is the skin. These peppery-tasting seeds are edible, though, and are sometimes used in salad dressings.
Select papaya that’s partially yellow and gives slightly to palm pressure. Reject fruit that is bruised or too soft. Also avoid those that are dark green – they may not fully ripen. Ripe papaya smells mildly sweet. Slightly green fruit ripens quickly at room temperature in one to two days.
To hasten ripening, place fruit in a paper bag with a banana. Once ripe, papayas can be stored in the fridge, but use them within a day or two to enjoy their best flavor.