Information about Fruits: Papaya

About papayas, information about the fruit, production, history and varieties in the world.


Cultivated throughout the tropical world and the warmest parts of the subtropics. The U.S. supply comes from Florida, Texas, Mexico, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. The papaya plant produces a milky juice containing an enzyme called papain, which is noted for its meat-tenderizing qualities. It is also present in the fruit. The fruit juice is used in the preparation of various remedies for indigestion. Chester D. French, in his article "Papaya, Melon of Health" tells this story:

Many years ago while cruising the jungle of Guatemala, I was seized with a severe attack of indigestion after eating ripe bananas from a naturally fallen stem of the golden fruit. I was warned by my Guatemalan friends against eating them once they had ripened on the stem of a live plant. But they were so appetizing-looking, and I was hungry. In a few minutes I was in the stages of an acute attack of indigestion. Riding a horse was a misery. I could not eat other food and suffered the whole night. Early in the morning the servant girl in a friend's house woke me with a tray of coffee and cakes. I sent her away. Food was impossible. She said to me, "One little minute, senor, and I will return with something you should eat." Presently she was back with a slice of a golden melon. "Eat of this, senor. It is a gift of the Gods to the hombre with the sad stomach," she recommended.

Believe it or not! After having eaten of this melon, my distress left me in 15 minutes. I arose and consumed a large breakfast. That was the Papaya Melon. From that day forward I could not forget such a wonderful experience. I began an intensive study of this wonderful fruit.

The papaya is also available in pulp form.

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