Papaya – Carica papaya
Native to the American tropics, this is an exceptional fruit to try during your Costa Rica vacation!
It has a great flavor and nutritional qualities; the papaya is an important source of vitamins A, B, G and C and is excellent for the digestion. The most common papaya in Costa Rica is called “papaya criolla” which is large, with a yellow to intense orange pulp, and its flavor may vary from very sweet to a slightly insipid flavor and may vary in shape. People tend to prefer the elongated ones, with firm consistency, called “cachos” in Costa Rica. The small “Hawaiian papaya” has been grown recently for exports and the crossbreeding with the “criolla” has created a mixed type. The papain, a proteolithic enzyme used as a meat tenderizer is obtained from the green, unripe papaya. When pieces of pulp or peelings from a papaya (preferably green) are placed on the meat for a few minutes, it will help to make it tender!