An orange-fleshed tropical fruit that is pear-shaped with a thin skin that is greenish to yellowish in color, depending on its ripeness. Its flesh has a melon-like texture with a mildly sweet taste. Smaller papayas are generally five to six inches long and weigh approximately one pound, while the larger varieties can be grown up to 10 pounds or more. Dried papaya is available in slices and makes a sweet snack. The dried slices are generally treated with sulfur dioxide to help retain their color.
Fresh papaya is generally cut in half, seeds removed, peeled and then sliced. Unpeeled halves are sometimes eaten with a spoon, filled with sherbet or ice cream, or filled with salad. The seeds are also edible.