The papaya is native to tropical nations. In the seventeenth century it travelled from the West Indies to Asia where at the end of the Ch’ing dynasty it was introduced to Taiwan.
In Taiwan, the papaya is propagated by a method designed to reduce damage from viruses or insects. Currently the most popular variety of papaya on the market is the midnight persimmon papaya with deep red flesh, sweet, juicy taste that is just delicious. With production year round, and the largest portion of the harvest coming between July and November, with the highest consumption between August and October when the sugar levels can reach 11 to 13%. Mostly grown in Tainan County, Pingtung County and Kaohsiung County.
Taiwan's papaya production yields high quality, sweet fruits, with superb nutritional content that can serve as an excellent part of high nutritional diet to maintain good health. Papaya contains special enzymes such as papain which can aid in digestion and the breaking down of complex proteins, and provide natural assistance to digestive tract disorders and upset stomachs, while having the same texture as tender meats. The papaya also has an excellent variety of nutrients including Vitamins A, C, and E, as well as calcium, phosphate and iron, with relatively few calories and excellent quality. Papayas are exported mainly to the USA and Asia.
Papaya can be eaten fresh, or enjoyed as fresh squeezed juice (or in smoothies such as papaya milk smoothies), dried papaya, or used as a vegetable in soups. In Taiwan, women enjoy the consumption of green papaya with pork spareribs soup. Papaya as a supplement can help ensure the proper distribution of fatty cells throughout the body where it is most desirable, and is thus a very popular soup ingredient for the beauty conscious modern woman.