Learn How To Cut A Papaya easily ahead! Papaya is usually found in a variety of shapes and sizes from small to large pear or round shapes. The skin is very thin and easy to peel. 

You can eat the ripened fruit raw since it is soft and sweet, but it also fits into a variety of culinary dishes like shakes, sweets, puddings, and stews.

People cut green papayas into thin strips to prepare the tasty Thai Green Papaya salad. So, also check out Green Papaya Curry and Papaya Salad!

whole papaya fruit on a wooden background

What Is Papaya?

Papaya scientifically named Carica papaya is a tropical fruit tree of the genus Physalis. It is also called pawpaw, Kepaya, fruta bomba, Lapaya, Tapaya, melon zapote,  or papaw. It originated in Central America and Southern Mexico and it is now grown in tropical regions of the world.

Farmers introduced papaya in Hawaii and Australia, and they can even grow it in California. In North Central Florida, you can grow papaya if you plant the trees on the south side of a building.

Papaya fruit has a soft, dense, aromatic pulp with a color that varies between yellow and red. It’s mostly shaped like an eggplant or a pear. Its skin ranges from green to bright yellow, and it contains bright orange flesh. Black seeds, coated with a mucilaginous substance, are inside the fruit.

Papaya contains an enzyme called papain, that breaks down protein, carbohydrates, and fat. It is also traditionally used as a meat tenderizer in cooking. Read More.

What To Do With Papaya Seeds?

Papaya seeds are edible and crunchy, so you don’t need to discard them when you scoop them out of the papaya. Instead, place them in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse with cold water rubbing the seeds to remove the mucilaginous layer and membranes adhering to the seeds.

Pat the seeds dry and place them on a towel to finish drying. Once they have dried, process the seeds in a high-speed blender or a spice mill. Transfer to a spice shaker and use it in place of black pepper. It has a peppery taste. 

Can You Eat Papaya Skin?

Although the skin of papaya is edible it is not generally eaten because the skin contains latex. Eating latex can lead to abdominal discomfort, so it is best to save the skin for composting. 

The Papaya Tree

Papaya is a tree of stems semi-herbaceous, hollow, cylindrical, and superficial. At the top of the tree, we see no branches, just large, digital bed leaves, with yellow ribs supported by long petioles. When they fall, during the growth of the plant, the leaves leave large scars on the stem. Papaya can produce male, female or hermaphrodite flowers in dioecious or monoecious plants.

Papaya flowers can be white or yellow, waxy, and very fragrant. Flowering begins 9 to 10 months after planting. The female plants, with exclusively female flowers, produce rounded fruits after pollination. Hermaphrodite plants, on the other hand, with complete (perfect) flowers, generate the commercially preferred fruits, elongated, with thicker pulp and, consequently, with a smaller central cavity.

Papaya tree with fruits

They are an excellent source of fiber, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C. Learn how to cut papaya and prepare it.

Papaya contains an enzyme called papain, that breaks down protein, carbohydrates, and fat.  . It is also traditionally used as a meat tenderizer in cooking.

How To Know When A Papaya Is Ripe? 

Papaya’s skin should be turning from green to bright yellow or orange. Avoid papayas that are hard, completely green, or bruised. When you press the skin, it should slightly give. If papaya is not ripe, place it in a small paper bag and fold the top of the bag.

Place it on the kitchen counter for a day or two and check the papaya for ripening. Store ripe papaya in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Overripe papaya is usually soft and squishy with black spots and a fermented smell. You should discard it if this occurs.

How To Cut A Papaya

Ripe papaya can be enjoyed by cutting it in halves, removing the seeds, and using a spoon to scoop out the flesh and enjoy. You can use a melon baller and scoop out balls or you can follow the instructions below for cubes and spears. 


  1. Wash the papaya under cold water to remove dirt from the surface. Dry the papaya out. Place the papaya on the cutting board.

Cutting papaya on a cutting board with a sharp knife

  1. Using a sharp knife, cut the top off (where the stem connects to the tree) the papaya crosswise.
  2. Position the knife blade at the top center of the papaya and cut straight down to cut the fruit in half lengthwise.

scooping out the seeds of the papaya

  1. Use a large spoon to scoop the tiny black seeds from the center of the papaya halves. Discard the seeds.
  2. Remove the papaya skin with a vegetable peeler or sharp knife.

peeling papaya with a potato peeler

  1. Cut the skinless and seedless papaya halves into slices (spears) or pieces with the knife.

Papaya Spears

Papaya cut into spears

Papaya Cubes

Cubes of papaya on a wooden cutting board

How To Eat Papaya

  1. Arrange the papaya cut pieces for the plate or bowl.
  2. Serve the papaya immediately.

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How To Cut A Papaya showing papaya cubes in a bowl and spears in a brown background with wooden utensils

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