The tree itself, on which the fruits called papaya grow, looks rather unusual. After all, there are very few leaves on it, but huge fruits hang that look a bit like a melon (because of this, the tree itself is sometimes called melon) and change color as it ripens from green to gold, and sometimes orange. Each ripe berry (papaya refers specifically to them) weighs up to 5, or even 8 kg. Due to its popularity in cooking, cosmetology and medicine, the plant is produced in fairly large volumes in Mexico, Brazil, as well as in India and Indonesia. But in Europe fresh these berries are not common. It is for this reason that the majority of Europeans do not know how to eat papaya correctly and get lost while relaxing in exotic countries when they are served these fruits for dessert or offered on the market.
In fact, they are used in a very different way. For example, ripe berries are served as a dessert (like a melon), mashed from them and added to salads. Dried papaya in the form of candied fruits is more often found in European markets. In their manufacture, of course, additional dyes, preservatives and sweeteners can be used, but nevertheless, useful substances are stored in sufficient quantities to recommend the berry for consumption. In recipes for salads and meat dishes, papaya green is often used (these are the same berries, but in unripe form). Despite the fact that the juice of an unripe plant is considered poisonous, it is still used in a variety of recipes. The secret is that ripe fruits can be consumed without heat treatment, and immature fruits are necessarily fried or baked.
Those who do not know how to eat papaya,
because they have never tried it, can be recommended to start with ripe berries in raw form. You can fully enjoy all the taste characteristics of the plant by visiting one of the countries where melon trees grow, because the fruits are stored for a short time and they are not fully ripe for export, which affects the final properties. If such a trip is not planned for the near future, you can try to get the fruit in the market or in the supermarket (you should store it in the refrigerator, like most fruits), or even better limit yourself to candied fruits.
For those who are well acquainted with the taste and aroma of the fruits of the melon tree, there are several recipes for how to eat papaya unripe as a component of an exotic dish. For example, green berries can be cooked with minced meat. This will require: a pound of low-fat minced meat (beef, turkey, chicken), the same amount of papaya (it should be green, cut into 2 parts, without seeds), 3 large tomatoes, a little butter and vegetable oil, 50 gr. grated parmesan, large onion, garlic, chili pepper to taste, ground black pepper, salt, spices (thyme, oregano), sugar. First you need to boil papaya, for this it is placed for 10 minutes in salted boiling water.
Minced meat is cooked in a pan, fried onion, meat in oil, salt and adding garlic and pepper. Then the halves of the berries are placed on greased parchment, stuffed and baked in the oven for about half an hour. Sprinkle the almost finished dish with cheese and spread the butter on top, and then leave to bake for another 10 minutes. Before eating papaya, it is poured with sauce made from blended grated tomatoes stewed with salt, sugar, pepper and herbs.
There are a lot of similar recipes where the fruits of a melon tree are used to prepare main dishes. And papaya is used for the preparation of cosmetics and some medicines.