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Papayas, sweet and juicy, are so versatile

Guess this fruit: It’s a pear-shaped berry fruit with yellow skin and orange buttery-tasting flesh with small black seeds clustered in the center. It grows on a large herb plant.

This is the papaya and June has been designated as National Papaya Month. So has September, signifying the popularity of this fruit, which is a native of South and Central America.

By the 19th century papaya had made its way to the United States and was cultivated in Hawaii.

There are two types of papayas, Hawaiian and Mexican. The Hawaiian is the variety commonly found in supermarkets and are available year-round. It ranges in sizes from 1 to 10 pounds. When buying a papaya and you want them within a day of purchase, select one that has reddish-orange skin and is slightly soft to the touch. Those that are totally green should not be purchased unless you are planning on cooking them. Always avoid the papaya that is bruised and overly soft. Papayas that are partially yellow should be left at room temp...

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