The Best Two Ways To Cut A Perfectly Ripe Papaya

A famous philosopher once asked: the papaya, to scoop or to cube? Okay, no renowned philosopher has pondered this fundamental question yet, but maybe sometime soon. Packed with an abundance of nutrients and antioxidants, you can understand why the wondrous papaya is now the third most traded tropical fruit globally. Most commonly found between the summer and fall months, the sweet and juicy taste is a reminder that warmer days are in full swing. To prevent wasting any slice of this orange paradise, you want to cut your papaya in the smartest way possible.

Before we delve into the perfect way to slice these beauties, it's handy to ask when papaya is at peak ripeness. This can be as simple as a color change from green to yellow; however, depending on the type of papaya you've got your hands on, you may need to consider how firm it is or if it smells extremely sweet. Once you're sure it's ready, it's time to start chopping!

The scoop effect

The scooping effect refers to cutting and scooping the papaya out of the skin to make small balls of fruit. Before any chopping begins, wash your papaya, as it may have traveled from as far as Sri Lanka. Next, cut the papaya lengthwise and scoop out all the little black seeds. These seeds contain equal nutritional benefits as the flesh, so save them for later – either for a peppery salad dressing or added to a smoothie. Then use an ice cream or melon scooper to carve out the small balls of fruit.

Simply, the shape of the scoops stands out well in a fruit salad where the papaya is mixed with other vibrant colors like watermelon, kiwi, or mango. You could add the balls on top of small egg tartlets for something more experimental to create edible papaya daisies. If you're looking for a boozy option for the upcoming Memorial Day, why not try these scooped domes as a garnish for frozen papaya margaritas?

Fruit ninja style

Don't worry our fruit ninja style does not refer to slicing the fruit randomly while in mid-air; it means slicing the fruit into beautiful, neat pieces. Similar to the scooping method, you can start by slicing the fruit down the middle lengthways. Peeling the outer skin with a knife or peeler, deseeding the center, then chopping into slices or cubes. Slices are perfect if you're ready to eat your papaya au natural, although you should try it with a sprinkle of lime or even a tiny pinch of salt.

Cubed papaya, on the other hand, is a different story. Not only are these cubes easier to blend into your smoothies, but think bigger, like creating fresh papaya spring rolls with added umami notes or mix into a spicy salsa that pairs perfectly with fish or fajitas. Honestly, there's no saying where you need to stop with papaya. Well, perhaps we'd recommend not eating it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is, after all, a natural laxative!