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How to Peel and Seed a Papaya

By Molly Thompson
Papayas are a large, tropical fruit belonging to the berry family.

Papayas are a large fleshy fruit that grow primarily in tropical climates. A single papaya fruit can reach up to 20 pounds, but the average papaya found in most grocery stores in the United States is five to six inches long and weighs between one to two pounds. Most varieties of papayas taste similar to a blend of cantaloupes and peaches, though some have a musky taste. The seeds of the papaya are peppery-tasting; they are usually removed before eating a papaya or using it in salads or fruit smoothies.

Rinse the papayas in cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel.

Peel the papayas using a vegetable peeler or paring knife. Starting at the top of the papaya, slide the knife or peeler into the fruit and under the outer rind. Carefully slice away the outer peel by drawing the knife or peeler toward yourself. Continue slicing away pieces of the peeling until the orange fruit is visible and all the peel is removed.

Cut the peeled papayas in half lengthwise. Scoop out all the seeds in the center of each half using a large spoon. Discard the seeds unless you plan to dry or grind them for use as a peppery seasoning in future food preparation.

Cut each papaya half into wedges for serving, or dice into small cubes for inclusion in salads. The papayas can also be cut into chunks and put into the blender or smoothie maker for inclusion in fruit drinks.


Things You Will Need

  • Fresh, ripe papayas
  • Paper towels
  • Vegetable peeler or paring knife
  • Sharp kitchen knife
  • Soup spoon


  • Papayas are a highly nutritional addition to your diet. They are fat-free, cholesterol-free and very low in sodium. They also are good sources of fiber, folate and Vitamin C.


  • Purchase and eat only fully ripe papayas. Unripe papayas may contain naturally produced latex, which is potentially harmful to humans. Pregnant women are usually advised to avoid papayas altogether during pregnancy.

About the Author


As a national security analyst for the U.S. government, Molly Thompson wrote extensively for classified USG publications. Thompson established and runs a strategic analysis company, is a professional genealogist and participates in numerous community organizations.Thompson holds degrees from Wellesley and Georgetown in psychology, political science and international relations.