21 Types of Papaya Varieties And Their Characteristics

The papaya, papaw, or pawpaw is a tropical fruit native to Mexico and South America. The papaya plant is part of the Caricaceae family and is native to Central America and southern Mexico. Today it is cultivated throughout the tropical world and into the warmest parts of the subtropics. The papaya fruit is slightly sweet, with an agreeable musky tang, which is more pronounced in some varieties and in some climates than in others. 

Papaya plants considered a tree, has a palmlike trunk that can grow up to 10 meters tall. Normally, the species is dioecious, male and female flowers being produced on separate plants, but hermaphroditic forms are known, and numerous irregularities in the distribution of the sexes are common. 

The fruit is commonly spherical, pear-shaped or cylindrical and sometimes weighs as much as 9 kg. The very juicy flesh is deep yellow or orange to salmon-coloured. Along the walls of the large central cavity are attached the numerous round, wrinkled black seeds. The unripe fruit contains a milky juice.

Papayas are usually grown from seed. Their development is rapid, with fruit being produced before the end of the first year. Under favourable conditions, a plant may live five years or more.

Papaya is suited for fresh and cooked preparations. The fruits are traditionally eaten out of hand. Consuming the peppery seeds is optional, and some consumers choose to remove the seeds before eating the flesh. They can also be tossed into salads, sliced and mixed into slaws, chopped into fresh side dishes, or used as a topping over yogurt and other breakfast dishes. The fruits can also be simmered into jams, jellies, and preserves. 

The amount of sugar in a papaya depends on the size of the papaya. A small papaya weighing 157 grams contains 12 grams of sugar, and a large papaya weighing 781 grams contains 61 grams of sugar. One cup of chopped papaya weighs about 145 grams and contains 11 grams of sugar, providing 44 calories out of the 62 calories in this serving of papaya.

List of Papaya Varieties

  • Red Lady
  • Oak Leaf papayas
  • Solo
  • Tainung
  • Kapoho
  • Waimanalo
  • Sunrise
  • Sunset
  • Samba
  • Kamiya
  • Guinea Gold
  • Maradol
  • Royal Star
  • Higgins
  • Bettina
  • Honey Gold
  • Thai Dwarf
  • Improved Dwarf
  • Singapore Pink
  • Waimanalo Papaya
  • Strawberry papaya

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