It’s papaya time!
Papaya is one of those fruits that you either like or loathe. It has a distinctive, almost musky scent. When fully ripe, it’s quite soft, and rather sweet. In Liberia, they tend to pick and eat it before it’s fully ripe; usually when it’s a couple of days shy of fully ripe. The danger is that once they’re ripe, they mold quickly.
This one was really under-ripe, but starting to go bad (divots of mold on the outside). When you cut into it, you have a large cavity filled with black seeds, about like pepper corns. I’ve read you can dry the seeds and grind them like black pepper, but I haven’t done that yet. If it were ripe, the fruit inside would be darker, like a dark peach, almost salmon colored. Just before it’s too ripe, the flesh is almost translucent.
No problem. It’s a little firm and starchy, but not bad. With under-ripe papaya, some line juice works wonders. Part of this also went into a stir fry with coconut, hot pepper, and bok choi. Served over rice, it was really good (if I do say so myself).