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Maradol papayas are large, elongated fruits with yellow skin often covered in green specks. The cylindrical fruits can weigh 3 to 5 pounds each and measure 30 to 35 centimeters long. The thin, leathery skin will become yellow and then orange when the fruits are fully ripe. The bright salmon-pink or red flesh is firm yet soft and has a musky scent. It is juicy and sweet, with a mild flavor. The small, round, shiny black seeds are edible and have a spicy, black pepper taste.
Maradol papayas are available year-round with a peak season in the late fall and through the spring months.
Maradol papayas, also known as Red Maradol, are a Mexican variety botanically classified as Carica papaya. They are the variety most often associated with the label “Mexican papaya”, though Maradol papayas are one of several varieties predominantly grown in Mexico. Papayas are known as the world’s most nutrient-dense fruits and the seeds also provide an excellent source of nutrition and health benefits.
Maradol papayas are rich in vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, potassium, and folate. They contain 212 amino acids and papain, an important digestive enzyme. The nutrient-dense fruits contain vitamins E and K, all of the B-complex vitamins, as well as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese and selenium. They also contain high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids and a moderate amount of omega-3 fatty acids. The seeds of the Maradol papaya are also highly nutritious and contain elements that support the liver, cardiovascular, and digestive systems. They also contain compounds that provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
Maradol papaya is eaten raw as a snack or dessert or added to smoothies. The fruits are often halved, the seeds removed and the flesh scooped out with a spoon. Slice, cube or use a melon baller and add pieces to green salads, mix with other fruits, use as an edible garnish or top yogurt or ice cream. Use in place of other fruits to pair with meats or chicken for kabobs. Give the flesh a flavor boost by sprinkling slices or cubes with lemon or lime juice. The juice is used in dressings and sauces, and as a flavorful meat tenderizer in marinades. Pair with citrus, chiles and chile powder, other tropical fruits, coconut, and strong cheeses. Maradol papayas will ripen at room temperature and will keep for up to 3 days. Refrigerating will slow the ripening process. Keep prepared Maradol papaya in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or freeze.
In 2007, Mexico set a standard for harvesting Maradol papayas, creating quality specifications for papayas harvested for fresh consumption. Growers differentiate between physiological maturity and consumer maturity, or two different states of “ripeness of consumption.” A study done in 2005 and 2006 determined the ideal ripeness for Maradol papayas based on skin color at harvest or the percentage of green, yellow or orange pigmentation, time in storage, ideal storage temperature and conditions, total sugars, and firmness of the pulp.
Maradol papayas are native to Mexico and Central America and are the most widely cultivated variety in Mexico. They make up 95% of the Mexican papaya production. 3 to 4-pound fruits are exported all over North and South America and can be found in stores nearly year-round. Unfortunately, due to the perishable nature of papayas, they cannot be shipped abroad. Growers and seed developers are working together to create a hybrid of the Maradol papaya, that will withstand a 15-day boat ride. Several Maradol hybrids are in development including the Maradol Cera, Intense, and CW3 varieties.
Recipes that include Maradol Papayas. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Clean Eating||Chile Lime Pork Tacos with Papaya Avocado Salsa|
|Copy Me That||Boozy Watermelon & Papaya Salad|
|Que Rica Vida||Papaya Agua Fresca|
|The Spice House||Baked Stuffed Papaya|