When we first moved to Maui, farmers markets often carried strawberry papayas. But for the past few years, I have not been able to find any.
A neighbor recently told me she’d found strawberry papayas at the North Kihei farmer’s market (next to the ABC stand at the north end of South Kihei Road, near our Sugar Beach condo). Since I had to go to our condo for the annual dryer-vent cleaning, I stopped at the farmer’s market. Sure enough – they had strawberry papayas! That made my day!
The most commonly found papaya on Maui are rainbow papayas. While they look similar on the outside, strawberry papayas are red-orange when sliced. They are also sweeter and don’t have that bitter after-taste that rainbow papaya have (note, a squeeze of lime will help mask that after-taste). I’ve been told rainbow papaya are a more hardy variety and less susceptible to disease which is why you find more of them. Here is a great website by the Hawaii Papaya Industry Association with more information on papaya grown in Hawaii.
|Strawberry papayas (also called Sunrise/SunUp)|
|Sliced strawberry papaya with seeds|
|Sliced strawberry papaya with seeds removed – so sweet and good!|