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I have my first batch of papayas ever from a tree I grew from seed. They're pretty big, but still green; I actually want green papaya, but how do you know when to pick them in that case? I cut into one tonight that was really hard and the seeds still quite small (I want the seeds too)... Surely even green papaya softens a little at some point? This was like a turnip or beet - really solid so would be hard to juice.   

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I had a papaya tree and  as I loved the  green papaya salad I  had in Thailand . I decided to make it  here.. big mistake , the green papayas here are nothing like the green papayas from Thailand, they are awful here and I cut down the tree..I later on travelled via Vera Cruz and I met a woman who also loved the papaya salads in Thailand and she told me that the species of papayas were different and that the  papayas here  were awful.. so I was happy I cut the tree and I make the salad with green mangos.

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I love Hawaiian papayas so when I first came to Mexico I was so excited that the papayas were sooo big--like footballs.  Imagine my surprise when they didn't taste nearly as good as the Hawaiian variety.  I eat them but don't bother growing them.

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I'm not growing them for a recipe, but rather for their medicinal properties. So my question stands; how do I determine when to pick to get green ones I can work with? 

P.S. From what I've read, the Hawaiian ones might be GMO, and even if you could get them here, they'd be the ripe ones, not green...

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It is too bad some of you have had bad experiences growing papaya. In fact Mexico is the beginning home of a variety called "Red Lady". It is bright red flesh and sweeter than other varieties. It grows well here, but does not like soggy roots as I found out. You are right to wait until they start to yellow, same as green mangos. I don't know about juicing, green papaya is usually shredded, like a cole slaw salad, and green mango is small chunks, to make a delicious Indian pickle. Worldwide, shredded green papaya is more popular than ripe, and the ones from Hawaii are often touted as a GMO success story.

 

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You only need to wait to see the slightest color change. then pick. Also on a new tree with it's first production it is possible the first few fruits will not be as good. My first 2 didn't even have seeds.

For eating, if you let it fully ripen on the tree there will be a much richer flavor, far better than market bought. 

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