county of hawaii: AGRICULTURE

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Papaya

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Papayas
Papaya Tree

The Big Island is the leading grower of papaya, producing 96% of the state's production. There are over 2,700 acres devoted to papaya farming producing more than 36 million pounds of papaya a year valued at over $20 million. The Puna district is the major growing area in the county. This highly nutritious fruit is low in sodium and only 78 calories to a half shell. It contains vitamins A, B, C, D, potassium and papain, an enzyme that aids in digestion. Select papayas with smooth and unblemished skins. Ripe papayas are yellow-orange in color, firm yet slightly soft to the touch. Green or partially green papayas take two to seven days to ripen at room temperature. When fully ripe, a papaya will keep in the refrigerator for a week. To eat a papaya, cut the fruit in half, scoop out the seeds and use a spoon to eat the meat. Eat as is, serve on the half-shell with your choice of filling, or peel and slice or cube for desserts and main entrees.


 

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