Fruits of Liberia: Paw Paw

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.

Cut Papaya

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).