07 Sep2005

Kapayas / Papaya

by Marketman

A seedless papaya? No, worse, a papaya with three seeds? What the heck is going on? apayaI realize people have been working on seedless watermelons (ever wonder how they grow more?) but I never saw a near seedless papaya before… Papaya has always struck me as an “older person’s” fruit…kinda like breakfast and prunes, get my drift? My parents always used to eat these humongous slices of papaya but before they did, squeezed copious amounts of calamansi juice and teaspoons of sugar to improve the taste. I was never a papaya fan. However, my wife seems to be and for the past two years she has been buying these incredibly consistent solo papayas by Dole grown in Davao and sold at Pricesmart. They ripen nicely and have been terrific and I have grown to like them. I gave up on market papayas because they were so inconsistent. That is, until the other day, when I spied solo sized papayas labeled “red.” My mom always used to say red papayas were the best so I decided to purchase one and see for myself.

After two days of ripening and feeling just right, I sliced open the papaya and was shocked to find just three seeds inside! Normally, the cavity is filled with larger than but reminiscent of caviar blobs of black seeds. This papaya was clean inside and there were just 3 seeds! Now, some research suggests I haven’t the foggiest clue about papayas. Papaya (Carica papaya) is believed to be native to Central America and has spread throughout the tropics. It is a giant herb and NOT a TREE. It also seems to have some strange sexual habits with female, male, hermaphrodyte or bisexual trees, different shaped fruit based on sex, etc. Sorry, I wasn’t that interested so I didn’t dig further. Suffice it to say the seedless papaya was a bit unusual. How did it taste – about a C+, that’s all… I’m back to the Pricesmart papayas, thank you.



  1. Mila says:

    Hmmm, that just doesn’t look right, with only three seeds. One of my favorite parts of the ritual of eating papayas was removing the gooey slimey seeds and all the viscous coating off the fruit, then a dash of calamansi (if it’s not too sweet a papaya, I’ll eat it with spicy vinegar instead).
    The development of seedless fruits always makes me wonder if these scientists are doing more damage. Consider the banana, as it has lost its seeds, there were reports that the fruit as we know it could become endangered in a few years. Will they start cloning fruits when they’ve run out of the seeds?
    Plus, who are the anti-seed groups anyway and why can’t they just live with seeds? Seems like a silly concern, seedless watermelons et al.

    Sep 7, 2005 | 3:32 pm


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  3. Baldwin says:

    I’m just guessing, but maybe markets are not selling these anymore for eating. Instead, they sell it for skin whitening! hee hee!

    Sep 7, 2005 | 3:52 pm

  4. fried-neurons says:

    As a kid I loved eating papaya with calamansi juice and sugar. It’s not really easy to find papaya here in CA. Even the specialty groceries don’t always have them. But it’s alway a treat when I do find one. The papayas here are a lot smaller than the ones back home, and they are generally more orange.

    Sep 7, 2005 | 4:09 pm

  5. grace says:

    i come from davao and papayas with few seeds are fairly common there. i guess its a way to control propagation of the specific variety.

    Sep 7, 2005 | 5:51 pm

  6. Ivan M says:

    Seedless Papayas= 2 Words: Genetically-Modified.

    And under that category would yellow watermelons also fall under…and I just happen to love them (yikes!)

    Sep 7, 2005 | 8:16 pm

  7. Chris says:

    I think Baldwin makes a lot of sense. It’s so much easier to use seedless papayas for skin whitening…hehehe. But back in the old days (I’ve seen my grandma do this), they used the young leaves of papaya, not the fruit. The effect is similar to a face lift. Anyway, in Cebu, we could eat papaya with impunity as if it grew like grass. There really was just a lot of ’em there was always enough to give the pigs for their dessert.

    Sep 7, 2005 | 11:09 pm

  8. butch says:

    not the fruit of choice for men unless you are a man of the cloth.

    Sep 8, 2005 | 9:54 am

  9. mojitodrinker says:

    the store “healthy options” sells natural papaya tablets that are supposed to aid digestion. wouldn’t be surprised since the unripened fruit itself contains enzymes that make it useful as a meat tenderizes. anyways, i hear that if you don’t want to spring for the tablets, papaya seeds are a cheap digestion aid alternative. i haven’t read anything to support this and it is all hearsay but if anyone knows something…

    Sep 8, 2005 | 11:24 am

  10. Marketman says:

    Papayas contain papain which acts as a tenderizer. Can’t imagine why people want to tenderize their skin. Or whiten it for that matter. White people want to tan. Dark people want to whiten. All people presumably want whiter underarms if you believe all the advertising on dark underams resulting in a lack of suitable dates. Just remember, eat too much papaya or carrots for that matter and you can literally turn orange.

    Sep 9, 2005 | 1:32 pm

  11. Jacque says:

    I planted 2 papaya trees and was surprised also that they only have 2 or 3 seeds. That is why I found this website, doing research to find out more about seedless papaya

    Nov 1, 2005 | 8:10 am

  12. Larry says:

    My tree is producing completly seedless papaya’s, and they are great.
    The tree does look a bit different the my others so I am not sure what type it actually is.

    Aug 19, 2008 | 7:37 am

  13. bert says:

    That sound’s great… As others claimed that it could be the type of advancement in the field of genetic engineering. It probably was a genetically modified one. Why not try to test it’s chromosome number and see it for yourself. The only problem would be… the prospects for its massive production. (kinda like it…)

    May 12, 2009 | 1:56 pm


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