An essential ingredient in Asian, Caribbean and South American cooking, the sweet and juicy papaya is known by many names: the pawpaw, fruta bomba, mamao and tree melon. No matter what it is called, the bright orange fruit is easy to peel and eat, either raw or cooked. Both the flesh (ripe or unripe) and the seeds are edible, although the round, black seeds are often discarded when papaya is casually eaten as a fruit.
Choose a ripe papaya, with firm flesh that has gentle "give" when pressed.
Slice the papaya in half, lengthwise, using a sharp kitchen knife.
Scoop out the black seeds from the center of the papaya using a spoon. Discard or save the seeds to be ground up and used in recipes as a peppery spice.
Remove the rind of the papaya. Depending on the papaya's ripeness, the fruit may easily separate from the rind or you can use the kitchen knife to peel the rind.
Slice the papaya as desired and serve.