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All about papayas

June is National Candy, Dairy, Ice Tea, Fruit and Vegetable Month, but it is also National Papaya Month, a fruit often overlooked in this area of the country, yet it was reputably called the “fruit of the angels” by Christopher Columbus. Today some claim it to be among the world’s most healthful foods.

Once considered quite exotic, papayas can now be found in markets throughout the year. If you want to eat them within a day of purchase, select papayas that have bright yellow skin and are slightly soft to the touch, yet firm, with a sweet aroma. Those that are mostly yellow with a bit of green will take a few more days to ripen at home.

Papayas should be refrigerated to slow down the ripening process. Place the whole fruit in a plastic bag and it should last about a week in the fridge. Those purchased that are not completely ripe can be ripened at home at room temperature and even faster if you put them in a paper bag. Ripe papaya is best eaten raw, while the green f...

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