Difference Between Pawpaw and Papaya

Ever entered a shop to see papayas being kept on two racks? The two racks having the same fruit but in different colour and shape.


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Have you ever wondered if they were different or dismissed the thought thinking all papayas don’t grow in the same shape or size?

The fact is that the fruits in the two racks are indeed different, not only in their size and shape but also in their taste and uses. Not just this, but they grow in different plants and also different medicinal values.

Key Takeaways

  1. Pawpaw is a fruit native to North America, from the Asimina triloba tree, with a custard-like texture and a flavor reminiscent of banana and melon; papaya is a tropical fruit from the Carica papaya plant, native to Central America, with sweet, juicy flesh and a distinct aroma.
  2. Pawpaw fruits are smaller and oval-shaped, with a greenish-yellow skin; papayas are larger and elongated, with green to orange-red skin when ripe.
  3. Pawpaw trees grow in temperate climates and produce fruit in the fall; papaya plants thrive in tropical climates and bear fruit throughout the year.

Pawpaw vs Papaya

The difference between Pawpaw and Papaya is that pawpaw when ripe is green in colour with yellow patches all over it whereas ripe papaya is seen to be orange or reddish colour. When ripe, the flesh of pawpaw is yellow whereas that of papaya is red.

Pawpaw vs Papaya

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Pawpaw is a spherical and rather large-sized fruit grown on shrubs or bushes, completely different from the plant papaya is grown on. They usually have a rather mild and bland taste like banana.

Papaya, on the other hand, is oval-shaped but smaller in size than pawpaw. It is a tropical fruit and is grown on tropical trees in warm areas.

They have a rather refreshing taste, almost a blend between mangoes and cantaloupe.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPawpawPapaya
Shape and sizeSpherical and largeOval and small
Colour of skinGreen with yellow patchesOrange or reddish
Colour of fleshYellow fleshRed flesh
TasteHas a rather bland tasteHas a tropical taste
Used inUsed raw, in fruit salads, for pickles etc.Used dried, smoothies, fruit salads, desserts etc.
Region for growthGrown in temperate hilly regionsGrown in warm or tropical climate areas
PlantIt is a shrub or a bush with maximum height as 7 m.It is a tropical tree that grows up to 33 m in height.
Best forHelps with digestion by breaking down the glutenMenstruation pain, reducing stress and signs of ageing

What is Pawpaw?

Pawpaw is a fruit grown on shrubs or bushes that reach up to a maximum of 7 m in height. Since they are temperate fruits, they are to be grown in temperate hilly regions for getting the best quality.

They are spherical and large. They are usually seen to be green with yellow patches all over them in their ripe form and have yellow flesh.

Papaws have a mild and bland taste like bananas. This is the reason why they are more often treated as a vegetable and used in pickles, rather than making smoothies and desserts.

Papaws are a useful medicinal plant much like papaya.

Since they grow on different plants, they have different properties. Papaws are used as an ailment for digestion problems as they help in breaking down gluten.


What is Papaya?

Papayas are tropical fruit grown on trees of 33 m height. They are usually grown in warm and tropical areas since that is where they grow the best.

They are oval-shaped and smaller in size than papaws. Their skin is usually orange to reddish when ripe and green when raw.

This is why many get confused between papaws and papayas. Papayas have a rich and tropical taste, almost like a crossover between mangoes and cantaloupes.

Therefore they are used in delicious treats like smoothies, fruit salads and desserts, or are used after being dried. Papayas hold great medicinal values as well.

They help with the menstrual pain for women and also helps in relieving stress. Taking papayas regularly during their time of the year can be beneficial for an individual’s health and mind.


Main Differences Between Pawpaw and Papaya

  1. The shape and size of the pawpaw and papaya are contrastingly different. When ripe, pawpaw is spherical and comparatively larger than papaya. The papaya is oval-shaped and is smaller in size.
  2. When ripe, pawpaw is green with yellow patches or completely yellow or green. On the other hand, fully ripe papaya is seen to be orange or reddish.
  3. Even the flesh of the two has a different colour which makes it easier to differentiate. Pawpaw has yellow flesh whereas papaya has red flesh. This is the case when they are ripe.
  4. Pawpaw has a rather bland and mild taste like bananas. But papaya on the other hand has a rich and tropical taste, almost like a crossover between mango and cantaloupe.
  5. Since they differ in taste, they are also used in different dishes and different ways. Pawpaw is used raw for their bland taste and used in fruit salads, pickles etc., whereas papayas are used dried for fruit salads, smoothies and desserts.
  6. Pawpaw is usually grown on temperate hilly regions whereas papaya being a tropical fruit is grown in warm and tropical areas.
  7. Papaya is grown on a tree of 33 m height whereas pawpaw is grown on shrubs or bushes that reach a maximum height of 7 m.
  8. Since they are different plants, they also hold different medicinal values. Papayas help with menstrual pain and relieving stress whereas pawpaw helps with digestion problems by breaking down gluten.
Difference Between Pawpaw and Papaya
  1. http://yadda.icm.edu.pl/yadda/element/bwmeta1.element.agro-article-abd5eb01-752a-4d2a-8930-fcf6310ab1d2/c/Seedling_emergence_and.pdf
  2. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/19701606658

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