Did You Know?
Papaya was called the “Fruit of Angels” by Christopher Columbus
Early adopter Christopher Columbus apparently translated the papaya’s Carib name ‘ababi’ as ‘fruit of the angels’. Also known as the pawpaw, the papaya is a small, fast-growing tropical tree. It probably originated in Mesoamerica (today’s Central America) where wild populations of the plant still occur. The Spanish took the papaya to Hispaniola Island at the beginning of the 16th century, from where it spread through the Caribbean and later to the Philippines, from where it spread rapidly throughout tropical Asia. European colonists introduced the plant to Africa and by the mid-17th century papaya was distributed across the tropics.