Pawpaw

Pawpaw

Synonyms:
Mamao, Papaya, Tree melon
Plural:
Pawpaws, Mamaos, Papayas, Tree melons
Family:
Caricaceae – Papaw family
Species:
Carica papaya

Origin

The pawpaw presumably comes from the south of Mexico and Central America. It was cultivated by the South American Indians and the Europeans spread it. In the middle of the 16th century Spanish seafarers brought them to Manila. From there they reached the other tropical regions.

Plant

From a botanical point of view, the trees are lignified herbs — their tuft is up to 60 cm long, the smooth leaves on long stems look like a big bunch of parsley. Pawpaw trees grow like palms as straight as a candle from 6 to 20 m high and do not develop side branches or limbs. The fruits hang down below the leaves around the trunk like bobbins for tatting.

Cultivation

In all of the tropical and in the semitropical climate zones.

Importations

By aerial freight and ship’s they are imported by freight all the year round from Brazil, Costa Rica, Kenya and the Ivory Coast. The best fruits come from Thailand.

Fruit

Edible:
The flesh ad cores.
Inedible:
The skin.
Odour:
It smells fresh, but somewhat neutral.
Flavour:
It is reminiscent of melons and apricots, sweet with little fruit acid.
Weight:
Depending on the variety they can be some hundred grams to several kilograms; we usually sell fruits that are between 300 and 600 g.
Shape:
Depending on the variety, roundish, ovoid or pear-shaped.
Ripeness:
The skin is green-yellow or green with distinctive yellow spots, and possibly little dark dots as well. The whole fruit feels smooth and warm in the hand. The flesh of the sliced fruit is milky-red, butter-soft and juicy.
Overripe fruits:
The skin is lemon yellow with brown spots, which look imprinted and filled with mildew; the fruit is very soft; the flesh of the sliced fruit is glazy.
Unripe fruits:
The fruit is hard and the skin is green with a some yellow specks.

Usage

They may be eaten raw and used in sweet and hearty salads. They can also be mashed as cream and drink, stewed in compote or boiled down as jam.

Storage

Whole mature fruits can be stored for a maximum for 2 days in a chilled, but humid space. The ripe flesh can be mashed together with the juice of citrus fruits and frozen. Ripe fruit can be sliced and wrapped up in plastic film for sa few hours in the fridge. Post-maturation: at room temperature for up to 8 days.