Michael Turniansky wrote:
I have tried other electronic forums for an answer, for I didn't want to bother you yet again. But I have a question:
What is the proper blessing for papaya? Is it "borei p'ri ha'adamah" ("Who creates fruit of the earth") like the pineapple, to which I think it may be related, or "borei p'ri ha'eitz" (Who creates fruit of the tree")?
Dear Michael Turniansky,
Although a papaya tree lasts for several years and produces an annual crop like a tree, in other respects it is similar to a vegetable. For instance, unlike other trees, papayas produce fruit during their first year.
Since a papaya has some tree-like features and some vegetable-like features, it's unclear what the proper blessing is. In such a case, the blessing "borei pri ha'adama" is appropriate. You can say "Borei pri ha'adama" ("Who creates fruit of the earth") in a case of doubt because, after all, fruit which grows on a tree also grows from the ground.
I asked this question to a noted halachic authority who told me to say "borei pri ha'adamah" due to the doubt.
- Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 203
- Kaf Hachayim 213:13, Yachave Da'at 4:52