Here is the 411 on “The Fruit of the Angels” as Christopher Columbus referred to Papaya.
Although it was first cultivated in Mexico, this fruit tree is native to the tropics of the Americas: the Caribbean, Mexico, South and Central America. Known internationally as PawPaw, it drips from a large tree-like plant, which is usually unbranched with long and waxy textured lobbed like flowers, that later develop into fruit.
The Papaya fruit is green until it ripens, and morphs into a bright yellowish- orange color fruit- that grows anywhere between 10–45 cm in length. One of the most notable facets of the fruit is the pungent aroma released as it ripens… you see, when the Papaya begins to feel soft (in the essence of a ripened avocado) and its skin starts to appear bruised with that amber to orange hue it is ready to eat.
Papaya is noted by our taste-buds as having sweet, yet musky undertones, which provide a dully noted sweet tasting fruit. It helps to keep your colon clean, by binding colon cancer causing cells and keeping them at a distance from the good cells in your colon. Although I personally find the taste a bit bitter and bland, many rave about the Papaya’s butter-like texture and often sweet tangent when added to milkshakes or salsas.
Having gained much popularity among tropical fruits on the global platform, PawPaw is nearly 16% of the total tropical fruit production, making this fruit a vital agricultural export for developing countries. As revenues of Papaya exports grows, it in turn provides a livelihood for thousands of people in developing countries as it introduced their product onto the international marketplace.
Papaya is also a wonderful source of vitamins and nutrients such as Vitamin A, C, folate’s and Dietary Fibers; in addition, the fruits skin, pulp and seeds contain a variety of phytochemicals considered possible drugs with anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. The plant extract attained by boiling Papaya leaves has been linked as a treatment for Malaria, Dengue Fever, Digestive problems, applied topically for the treatment of: cuts, rashes, stings and burns and even known to work as herbal birth control.