How do you eat a papaya?

The papaya offers many possibilities for further processing because it can be consumed both ripe and immature. Learn how to eat papayas here.


Papayas taste very sweet and contain little calories, but protein-splitting enzymes.

The tropical plant originating from Mexico is cultivated worldwide in the tropics and subtropics. Large locations are in Australia, India, America and Africa.

The papaya fruit (also known as tree melon) reaches a size and 15-45 cm and a diameter of 10-30 cm; it can reach a weight of 3-6 kg. However, the usual fruits in Europe have a maximum weight of 0.5 kg.

Appearance and taste

A mature papaya has a yellowish green skin . The pulp of the papaya is orange to pink. The black kernels contained in the fruit are surrounded by a cuticle and are also edible.

This is how you eat a papaya

The papaya can be eaten both ripe and unripe:

  • Cut the papaya lengthways in the middle.
  • Remove the seeds with a spoon.
  • The flesh can then be spooned out of the skin.

Of course you can also peel the fruit (but this is usually only possible if the fruit is not yet fully ripe) and then you should separate the pulp and the seeds.

Tip: When unripe, the papaya is used like a vegetable. Salads are made from it, also in combination with rice. The ripe flesh is sweet and served with lemon juice, sugar or ginger.

Info: You can also eat the spicy-tasting kernels of papaya. However, they are preferably cleaned beforehand, dried and can then be used as a spice.

Maturity and storage

The buyer should take a close look at the fruit when buying a papaya. If it is still completely green, then it will not ripen. It must have yellowish streaks or stains when it is purchased so that it can fully ripen. Red spots are also a sign of ripening.

The ripeness can also be recognized by the compressive strength of the fruit . The easier it is to push in with your finger, the further maturity has progressed.

In contrast to many other fruits, there is no risk of papaya becoming overripe. Except, of course, if it starts to ferment or rot.

Info: The softer the fruit, the more intense and sweet the taste becomes.

Use in the kitchen

The papaya pulp can be used in mueslis, yoghurts, salads, smoothies or in combination with rice, ham, etc.

Our recipe tips:

  • Grilled papaya
  • Mozzarella with papaya
  • Yogurt with papaya
  • Papaya jam
  • Thai salad with papaya

Tip: When fresh, the papaya is very suitable as a decoration on cold plates, plates or tables, as it shows hardly any signs of oxidation.

Since the papaya kernels contain a protein-splitting enzyme, they are often pulverized and used to tenderize meat.

Tip: To make meat more tender, you can rub it in with ground papaya seeds or soak it in papaya juice. The same also applies to the juice of a fresh pineapple.

The papaya as a remedy

The protein-splitting enzyme papain, which is contained in large quantities in the kernels, was used in folk medicine as a deworming agent . The papaya enzyme is still used medicinally today. Its effect corresponds to an enzyme of the pancreas. It is therefore used against indigestion, which can arise with reduced function of the pancreas.

The enzyme is also used to break down inflammatory metabolic products after surgery and radiation therapy and to improve the flow rate of the blood.

The flesh of the fruit is a real vitamin C bomb - just 100 grams cover daily needs. The pulp also contains plenty of vitamins A, E and folic acid.

Info: The fruit mainly contains water and fiber and 100 grams have only 31 kcal.

Homeopathic medicines made from papaya leaves are used for irritation of the urethra.