How to Select Papayas
- Test the firmness of a papaya by pressing your finger into the skin, as you would an avocado. Look for fruit that is firm but yields to gentle pressure. If your thumb can easily break through the skin, this indicates that the fruit is overripe. A papaya that is too firm and does not yield to finger pressure is not yet ripe.
- If you want to use your papaya in a few days, select one that is more firm and allow it to ripen in your kitchen.
- Choose papaya with stems that are yellow in color. This indicates that the fruit has begun the ripening process and will continue to ripen in the coming days.
- Check the smell of the papaya. A fresh, ripe papaya will have a slightly sweet fragrance near the base. A fruit with no smell is likely unripe.
How to Store Papayas
How To Store Fresh Papaya: Papaya can be stored at room temperature on your kitchen counter or in a fruit bowl. Fresh papaya will last on your counter for about 1 week. You can also store it in the refrigerator, where it will keep for up to 3 weeks. Storing in refrigerator will slow down the ripening process. Check the papaya regularly to ensure it has not grown soft. This indicates that the fruit is overripe.
How To Freeze Papaya: Begin by washing and peeling the papaya with a produce peeler. Slice the peeled papaya in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds in the center. Cut the fruit into 1 inch cubes then place on a baking sheet in a single layer, leaving a small amount of space between each cube. Freeze the cubes overnight or until completely frozen, then transfer to a sealable plastic bag or container for long-term storage. Papaya will keep in the freezer for up to 1 year.