Exotic Fruit 101: What you need to know about the papaya, and where you can get it in Miami

This month we’re profiling four exotic fruits you can find all over Miami and how to eat them.

Here are our tips on our first fruit, the guanábana, and today we’re filling you in on the papaya, aka papaw. It’s a little weird looking, some consider it a superfood because it’s packed with vitamin C and it can help with reducing swelling. Here are some lesser known facts about this commonly seen fruit:

WHERE IT COMES FROM: The fruit made its journey to Miami from Mexico and South America but grows in subtropic climates and can be found everywhere from the Sunshine State to California and in places like Indonesia and Thailand.

WHERE TO FIND IT IN THE 305: Thankfully we didn’t have to travel across any oceans to get one. We just went down to the Robert is Here fruit stand in Homestead. You can also find them at grocery stores like Trader Joe’s.

WHAT IT TASTES LIKE: Papaya kinda tastes like a melon but not as sweet. Plus, did you know you can eat the seeds? (Just a few, not all at once!) They’re a little spicy (like black pepper) and are sometimes ground up to be used as spices in curries.

FUN FACT: The plant that grows the papaya can be male, female or have organs from both genders. And actually, the plants often pollinate themselves.

HOW TO EAT IT:  Slice it up and pair it with your morning pancakes. Don’t love the smell? Squeeze a wedge of lime on it. For more tips on how to prepare all kinds of papaya-based treats, check out this piece from Miami Herald food writer Linda Bladholm.

Share the papaya love by offering up your own delicious or creative ways of enjoying this fruit on our video.