The paw paw, otherwise known as papaya, is similar in shape to a pear with a very sweet flavour, like a tropical melon. The skin is green or yellow and the flesh is orange-pink. Inside is a cavity, full of black bead-like seeds.

The paw paw is native to Southern Mexico and neighbouring Central America.

PAW PAW (PAPAYA) are classed as a fruit.


As with most exotic fruits, paw paw are best served as they are, or at most sprinkled with a little lime juice to bring out their flavour. Try also in smoothies. Paw paws contain Papain, an enzyme which tenderises meat, so the pureed flesh also works well in marinades.

Nutritional Information

Typical values per 100g (raw): energy 28 kcal, 116 kJ; protein 0.4g; carbohydrate 7.0g; fat 0.1g.


Cut in half then scrape out and discard the black seeds. Peel away the skin, or scoop out the flesh with a spoon.


Paw paw can be stored in a refrigerator, but will ripen more quickly if left at room temperature. As for mangoes, the ripening process can be accelerated if put in a bag with a ripe banana.


Avoid fruit with skin blemishes. A paw paw is ripe and ready to eat when it gives to gentle pressure. In some cases the skin will turn from green to yellow when ripe, but this is not always the case.

Fun Fact

Paw paws are often called Tree-Melons.


Shown below is where this item grows in the world and where it may come from when you buy it at your supermarket or local shop.