Mini Red Papayas by Dole


I don’t know about you guys, but in our household, when I was growing up, papaya was a very big thing for breakfast… I hated it. But the ancestors were big fans, constantly mentioning its lovely “roto-rooter” qualities that were better than any drugstore-purchased laxative. The way they were touting this fruit, you would think they were constantly plugged up…who knows, maybe they were…heeheehee, gosh that’s irreverent! At any rate, they didn’t have many of these cute, almost identically sized and highly standardized mini-papayas that Dole now sells in the groceries; they had those humongous whopper of a papaya versions that you had to slice lengthwise, resulting in many sections per fruit… My parents were big on the red ones, claiming they were more tasty, sweeter, etc. Yet oddly, my parents always added a squeeze of calamansi AND a sprinkling of sugar to their slices of papaya…

But now that I am older, I have taken a liking to a good papaya, mostly because Mrs. MM seems to love them, and neither of us are plugged up, I promise. But I have papaya2to have my papaya JUST right, meaning not under ripe and not overripe, and that isn’t easy to determine… These single serving size papayas of Dole are really pretty consistent and while I think they were developed primarily for the export market, I am glad they are also selling them locally, at most major groceries. They are reasonably priced, reliable and good eating. We still sometimes occasionally buy the bigger papayas but that seems to be more of a hit or miss proposition these days. I don’t take my papaya with kalamansi or sugar, I just added the kalamansi in this photo as a tribute to the ancestors… :) Oh, and I almost forgot, as a kid, I liked to eat semi-ripe FIRM or almost hard papaya slices with vinegar, is that weird or what???


33 Responses

  1. When we were younger, we used to eat those semi-ripe (“manibalang”) ones with vinegar too…Any secrets you can share on judging the ripeness ?

  2. Hi Mr.MM,

    I also like crunchy papaya and eat it with vinegar and sometimes i even experiment eating it with “bagoong”….i guess you can call it weird too huh…but i like ripe papaya if i can make it into a shake with a bit of fresh milk…

  3. You are indeed right ripe papayas have a powerful roto-rooter action. Once you have had a serving of ripe papaya mother nature will summon you. Very nutritious too rich in beta carotene. Talking about natural and affordable deal the skin of ripe papaya is a good beauty regimen as skin exfoliation with the addition of salt. Ripe papaya is a distinct element of our canned tropical fruit cocktail also manufactured by Dole. Yes, the manibalang papaya is a good snacking/munching with vinegar and salt.

  4. we do it the same way, a little sprinkling of sugar and calamansi….also put it in a blender with ice for a fresh papaya shake….

  5. by the way MM, just a thought,i noticed you removed the seeds from your calamansi…..

  6. For me, there is this thing with papayas and mangoes, when they’re really good…it’s like being in heaven, really! We only have fruits for breakfast. And we always make sure to have papayas…yep, they really help you go for the banyo! But then afterwards you just feel so healthily light. I really don’t know but I seem to observe that we have here the sweetest tasting fruits. Am I biased or just my tastebuds hallucinating? I mean when it comes to tropical fruits, I don’t have much appetite for it when I eat them in a foreign country. Even the manibalang papaya is tastier…!

  7. Here in Australia, they call it paw-paw. And yes, most Aussies love to eat it w/ a wedge of lime. Since you’ve mentioned papaya, I wonder how many of your readers are familiar w/ this Thai raw papaya salad dish called Som Tam.
    Everybody should try it cos it’s been one of my greatest food addictions since coming to Melbourne.

    This is unrelated, but since this is a food blog, I’d like to recommend a fascinating article I read at It’s under the food + health tab. And it’s an article about how “the government makes you fat”. It relates that “the most reliable predictor of obesity in America today is a person’s wealth”. Come to think of it, when Krispy Kreme opened their first store here in Melbourne; it wasn’t in the CBD or in some high-traffic mall, but they started in the most obscurest of suburbs which I could probably describe as their equivalent of Novaliches. Go figure….

  8. I don’t ever remember my mom buying papayas growing up. She had them in abundance, planted all over the yard. Now, I find it such a waste of money buying for papayas especially as the one I get here in the US are just plain horrible tasting. I miss the ones mom had, I prefer it manibalang too and soaked in vinegar, almost like a cucumber salad in vinegar, so yummy. I also remember getting cuts from grating those papayas as well for achara. But they are also a treat when ripe and tender.
    After reading your post on sineguelas and this, it made me crave for more Pinoy fruits, like chico, rambutan, lansones and manggang piko. I’ll do anything for a basketful of sineguelas right now. LOL!

  9. i also remember my lolo buying papaya and slicing it into sections so all of his apo would have one each, that time we were only about 8! he would buy the big and ripe ones. we also blend it with milk, sugar and ice for a cold drink!

  10. i’ve never gotten used to eating papaya, i think it is because of not finding a good source/vendor, its either sobrang hinog or hilaw pa. i contented myself with the papaya in my tinola. but i’d like to try those mini papayas by Dole. thanks MM, i’ll go later to the grocery and get me some so i can rediscover my love for papayas.

    ps: like izang mentioned , bakit po walang seeds yung calamansi in the photo? wala lang curious lang po…hehehe

  11. titashi and izang, we remove all the seeds from kalamansi that are going to the dining table…it just makes it easier when you squeeze it on pancit, into your soy sauce, or spritzed over fruit! A bit ma-arte, but totally practical…better than fishing out the seeds from your dish, or worse, biting into the totally bitter buggers…

  12. i still dont like the taste of ripe papaya. I remember when I had a surgery and i had to eat papaya I didn’t like it .But now that I’m a bit older I can eat the papaya thats used in tinola the cooked one..

  13. Oh wow, you’re just like my younger brother, MM. When we were kids (eons ago :-) he snacked on manibalang papaya dipped in Paombong vinegar.

    For me, papaya is the ultimate breakfast fruit–it perfectly rounds up my ultimate breakfast meal of kapeng barako, sinangag, egg estrellado, and daing na pusit dipped in garlic and Paombong vinegar. Meals like this always make me feel so blessed–watta life!

    Aside from its roto-rooter and skin-care powers, papaya also deflates libido, works like a cold shower, you know. This is why many priests, nuns, seminarians, and other celibates are said to breakfast on papayas everyday; you only have to look at convento backyards–many papaya trees there–to believe.

  14. thanks for the reply MM, i guess its also a tip for us calamansi users : ) though i use a fork as a “strainer” to catch the seeds, some still ends up on my pancit! thanks again!

  15. “Bagnas” na papaya. The hard ones, not quite ripe, with vinegar is the best! That is such a BLAST from the PAST! We used to have that regularly. it’s like eating, peanuts or butong pakwan. You can’t stop until you are too bloated with it or get gas pains!

    I love the DOLE papayas, but have been remiss in my fruit intake lately. Much of it is the lack of a good supply from the grocery where I go to and being lazy to drive all the way to another grocery or Market Market for these. It’s actually good with a squeeze of calamansi too. I think our parents used to do that because those large papayas are, as you said, hit or miss in the sweetness department or are sometimes too overripe. The calamansi will definitely make it taste better, juicier.

  16. Hi!

    Yep! Catalina is right, my ex-seminarian friend tld me that they always had papaya for dessert. I guess he had enough of it because he didn’t proceed to priesthood and even up to now, he still has an aversion for papayas. Hehehehe, don’t you think we ought to grow more papayas and forcefeed our fellow macho men to control population growth? —joke

  17. that’s why my ninong do not like papaya in any way…..him feeling very macho and all….hehehehe

  18. Dodi, I was actually thinking the same thing earlier but didn’t type it out. If this effect is true, I agree we should force feed all males with three servings of papaya from the age of 14 until they retire… :) But I bet this is a myth or it is apocryphal…I will try and do some research on this… trust me, I know a few papaya eating men who did not have slow libidos… Okay, here are the unscientific results of papaya research… DO NOT TAKE THIS FOR GOSPEL. The jury seems to be out on the story that papaya is bad for the libido. One site says papaya seed extracts have been shown to cut sperm production in rats and monkeys, but NOT testosterone levels (which I presume is the bulk of libido)… in fact, as a natural contraceptive, papaya SHOULD then be consumed in droves. Another site includes papayas as part of a aphrodisiac salad so I suspect that is a vote for the opposite camp. Yet another site suggests a Peruvian aphrodisiac shake made together with papaya and then another says papayas have lots of Vitamin A which is good for your libido. So the conclusion? I don’t have one. What seems to be true, however, is that all those macho men slugging lots of alcohol and beer and smoking up a storm will indeed have far greater ability performing that evening as alcohol and nicotine ARE in fact more the cause of libido, ahem, issues. So what do you think? Enough marketmanila male readers out there who want to do an experiment with papayas, alcohol and nicotine??? :) I jest, of course…

  19. HOw I wish I could still make myself eat Papaya! My mom would make me eat it with calamansi and sugar when I was young….Sigh, I just never liked it. Can it be turned into a shake or something, maybe with milk? I think I would need it now than before…..I seldom go to the john. I guess I can eat it more than prunes!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. We do the same thing when we were younger. We like to dip the manibalang papaya with either cane vinegar or cider vinegar, but we love it with sukang iloko.

    I never got use d to eating papaya with calamansi.

    I remember we had this a lot of those papaya that was red and with very little seeds. The stems of the leaves were deep purple in color. I don’t know if I recall the type – parang “murado” yata.

  21. When I was younger, one of the local TV station showed an old 70’s movies, one of the characters have not had her menstruation yet, so her roomate told her too eat loads of papaya. *giggles* So did a bit of searching, and one herbal remedy site I found recommended papaya to increase female libido, promote menstruation, milk production and facilitating childbirth. And in Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka, papaya is used as a folk remedy for contraception and abortion.
    MM, I think it depends on what part of the world you are in. South Americans tend to think it’s an aphrodisiac. Apparently different cultures have different uses for it, from roto-rooter, to aphrodisiac, to skin exfoliant, to meat tenderizer, to baby-pusher. LOL.

    elaine, if you don’t like the taste of papaya, try mixing it with mangoes in shake. Mom used to make little balls out of them with a melon baller and make a fruit salad with it, mixed with other fruits, then drizzled with cream.

  22. Yes! Manibalang na papaya dipped in sinamak is a fare during my childhood days. We drizzled the ripe ones condensed milk. Masarap din!

  23. We use to have some papaya trees in our backyard since our househelps loves eating it but at an ugly instance 2 of my siblings started to hate papaya with a passion. They ate lots of ripe papaya with green mangoes, less than an hour they were vomiting and roto-rooter acting up but they weren’t anything to unclog or unplug, just terrible stomach ache. We thought it wasn’t something serious! After few days, and they were feeling well they together with some cousins feasted on green mangoes and ripe papayas, it happened again! 5 big macho men hated papaya since then. They uprooted the trees! And hate the sight of ripe papayas and green mangoes together. hehehe

  24. I used to hate them too as a kid, and to this day when I see one, I get flashbacks of weekend mornings with my mom laying before me a bowl of oatmeal and (gulp!) a huge slice of papaya. Ugh. I do have other, happier memories of it, though – the branches of our backyard papaya tree made excellent straws for blowing bubbles & gave me many moments of pure childish bubble-icious delight!

  25. I love ripe papaya for breakfast or dessert. Growing up, I preferred eating unripe papaya with nothing (no vinegar or salt) than the cooked one, like in tinola or ginisang papaya.

  26. I love underripe papayas dipped in vinegar! I used to buy it from the vendors outside our school. I also like eating ripe papayas with calamansi or dipped in condensed milk. Yum!

  27. some people eat unripe papaya. . . yeah not underripe, unripe, I have encountered some asian salad recipes that include unripe papaya in it and here in Maldives the locals eat them unripe straight from the tree. . .

  28. Papaya with lime/calamansi: found in many hotels and hostels around Thailand and Indonesia. I started enjoying my papaya that way after eating it in Thailand a lot. The calamansi or lime enhances the heavy flavor of the papaya.

    Green papaya is supposed to be an abortifacient, or so the herbalists say. Sort of emergency contraception if eaten early in the conception phase.

  29. I learned eating papaya also with calamansi and sugar from my lola who grew up in Cebu. :)
    yummy yummy yummy!!!

  30. Papayas do not necessarily kill male libido. What it does is kills any chances of an erection. That is because papayas contain the enzyme papain, which is found in analgeiscs like Papase. South American indigenous peoples have been using papayas for millennia as meat tenderizers.

    In Philippine cuisine, unripe papayas are also used to tenderize beef and chicken. Think about that next time you plan to have papaya as part of your breakfasst or for dessert.



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