How to cut a papaya?
When dealing with fruits and vegetables, proper preparation is necessary. In short, you should be able to cut or slice or grind them correctly--whatever method is appropriate.
The papaya is a fruit that is considered to be endemic in some countries and regions. For that reason, it is safe to say that this fruit is not a common ingredient in the kitchen. Therefore, when presented with this fruit, some people are baffled on how to reveal its luscious and tasty flesh.
Sure enough, slicing the fruit open is the way to do it. But how can you do this properly? Well, read on to find out!
What Is A Papaya?
Before I show you the means to slice open a papaya, it is prim and proper that you can get an idea about this fruit.
Specifically, the papaya has a tropical origin. It has a mellow to bright orange fresh that features a sweet and juicy taste. Inside the flesh is a hollow where its circular seeds are stored. Take note that seeds are edible, too. However, the flavor of the seeds closely resembles pepper.
Papayas are often cultivated in Asian, Indian, and Caribbean regions. They are also found in Hawaii. You can eat them raw or cooked, depending on your preferences. Of course, there is a myriad of recipes that can be made with this particular fruit include.
The size of papayas varies from one variant to another. For instance, the Hawaiian variety is small and has a shape similar to a pear. Meanwhile, Asian papayas are large and elongated. But overall, these variants are indeed delicious.
Certainly, there are a lot of health benefits that you can get from this fruit. It features a myriad of antioxidants and contains a lot of vitamin C. Other minerals and nutrients are also found on this fruit, such as potassium and fiber. Papaya can aid in indigestion and overall digestive process.
How To Cut A Papaya: Step-By-Step Process
Step 1: Choose A Ripe One
The first thing that you need to do is to ensure that the papaya you want to cut is ripe. You see, unripe ones are difficult to deal with because their exterior is quite sturdy. You need to know how to peel a papaya before you can prepare an unripe one for cooking.
When Is A Papaya Ripe?
How do you know when a papaya is ripe? It is a question that remains surprisingly baffling these days.
Well, the answer to it is simple. A papaya is ripe when its green skin has turned yellow with some bruises. When you press it, your fingers will feel that it has dug into the flesh. If the papaya is too soft, then it overripe already. You have the option to continue opening it or find another one that has the appropriate ripeness. Papayas that are too mushy or too sweet are considered too ripe already. Ideally, they should be chuck out from your kitchen.
When Is A Papaya Ready To Eat?
Both the ripe and unripe variants of papaya are already edible. However, those that are too young may not be suitable for consumption because they have not reached their full flavors yet. If the papaya fruit is still too stiff, then it has not yet reached its maturity yet.
Of course, unripe or green papayas have still their place in the kitchen. In this video, you can see how a green papaya was turned into a sumptuous salad.
Step 2: Wash The Skin
Needless to say, the skin of the papaya is not edible and will never be. That's the very reason why we are only concerned with the flesh of the fruit and nothing else.
Others would think that it should be peeled off to get the most out of the fruit. While that argument is sound and valid, keep in mind that peeling the skin of a papaya is not that easy. If you are working with unripe papaya, the skin would be so tough that ordinary knives will never make the cut. On the flip side, if you are going to peel ripe papaya, it will turn mushy, and the flesh can get damaged.
That's the very reason why we only need to cut the papaya open and just leave the skin be. However, keep in mind that you still need to wash its skin thoroughly before you are going to cut it. In doing so, you can avoid any sort of contamination.
Step 3: Find A Flat Surface
Before cutting the papaya, it is essential that you have a flat platform first. It is where you are going to do the cutting. You can use a cutting board for this particular application. If you deem that your countertop is flat enough, you can place the papaya there. However, always make sure that these surfaces are cleaned prior to the cutting. You don't want the bacteria to seep into the fruit and make it as a vector for foodborne illness.
Always remember that ripe papayas are juicy and fleshy. When you cut them open, they tend to release juices and flesh. These are some residues that can cause a mess in the countertop and should be cleaned quickly. Have a dish towel ready so that you can wipe them off.
Step 4: Cut The Papaya
Now that all the preparations are complete, you are now ready to cut the papaya.
In doing so, you ought to have a large and sharp knife. You need to make sure that you can pierce through the skin of the papaya as smoothly and as quickly as possible. Alternatively, you can also use a serrated bread knife if you want to achieve a clean cut.
The first cut that you are going to make it on the top end of the papaya. Usually, you will know that it is the top because of the presence of a small stalk there. Cut that part off as cleanly as possible.
How To Slice A Papaya?
Once you are already done cutting the top of the papaya, it is easier for you to slice the entire body in half. The slicing should be done in the middle. As much as possible, you should do the slicing in the cleanest and sharpest way you can. It will add to the overall presentability of the fruit.
At this point, you might want to ask the question again “what does a ripe papaya look like?” It is understandable, of course, since you would want to know if you sliced a ripe one or not.
Check the flesh of the papaya. Make sure that its coloration ranges from golden yellow to deep orange. They are indicators that the papaya is indeed ripe already. You can also smell the funny but alluring fragrance of it.
Step 5: Take Out The Seeds
Papayas have hollow interiors. Within these spaces are the seeds of papaya. But just like the skin, the seeds are not edible. They will never be, and you should not attempt to eat them.
The best thing that you can do with them is to scoop them out from the flesh alongside with the sticky membranes of the fruit. Use a spoon in scooping them. In doing so, make sure that the rest of the fruit will not be damaged. Don't worry, though, because these seeds are not tightly attached to the fruit. Hence, scooping them should not be a problem.
Once done, the flesh is the only that remains on the papaya. You can further slice the papaya if you are going to share it with other people. If you are going to consume it alone, you can just scoop the flesh and eat it directly.
How To Eat A Papaya?
There are many ways on how you can eat papaya fruit as deliciously as possible.
Eat it raw - If you are going to opt for this method, you have to make sure that the papaya is cold. Therefore, you need to refrigerate it so that you can relish the succulence of its flavor. Just follow the procedures for preparing papaya, and you are good to go! Don't forget to rinse, though. Furthermore, you can squeeze lemon juice on the fruit as a flavor enhancer.
Eat it cooked - At this point, you have to realize that you cannot cook ripe papaya. If you are planning to cook papaya, make sure that it is unripe--or when the flesh is still sturdy and green in color. You can find numerous recipes out there for this particular ingredient, which should include salads, main dishes, and even baked goods.
Learning how to cut a papaya is quite easy. As long as you follow the procedures that I mentioned here, you should not experience any trouble with this fruit! By now, you should have gained the ability to enjoy one of the most delectable tropical fruits out there!
That's it for now. If you have other questions about food and other things related to cooking, feel free to drop them in the comment section below.
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