When selecting a papaya examine it for bruises, soft spots and any other indications of damage. The fruit should be firm, but not too hard. Don't be put off by the smell, it's characteristic of the fruit. Papaya will ripen at room temperature so if you don't need it for a few days buy one that is slightly green.
Store unopened at room temperature for up to a week - opened it can be wrapped in plastic and kept in the fridge for 48 hours.
Tips & Tricks:
Some sensitive individuals may experience respiratory difficulties from papaya. For most of us papaya is an extremely healthy food with antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Aside from its health benefits, papain is also used in the following ways:
As a meat tenderiser
As an agent to filter and purify beer
To cleanse, soothe and heal the skin
As a home remedy for the treatment of jellyfish, bee and wasp stings when made into a paste with water.
Slightly underripe papaya can be used to make refreshing salsas in the summer. Grate the flesh and mix it with sprouts, cucumber, chilli and lemon juice. Serve under grilled or BBQ'd fish.
Also tastes great with a squeeze of lime juice and some cinnamon to complement the flavour.