Papaya & Mango Passion Recipes
Papaya and Mango Passion!
The papaya (Carica Payaya L.) is native to southern Mexico and South America. It is known as a paw paw in Australia, a Mamao in Brazil and a Tree Melon in other places.
By the way, for all my Midwestern friends, the Paw Paw tree of the Midwest is NOT related to the papaya. The Midwestern Paw Paw tree is the Asimina triloba a smallish little tree with a custard-like fruit (when ripe.) These fruits were yellowish ripe in the fall and only the fruits too high for the cows to reach were left for a kid to pick!
Now back to the Mexican papaya. It is grown in most tropical and subtropical countries now. You can grow them inside in containers as long as the soil and the ambient air temperature remain warm and moist. (Well, there goes growing one in my living room! Little humidity and not kept at subtropical temps.)
There are two varieties of papayas, the Hawaiian and the Mexican. We will be working with the larger (up to 10 pounds) Mexican papaya. The Mexican papaya was on special this week at the grocer for .79 cents a pound. This means economy and a great taste! Canned papaya would work but do try the fresh one!
A nice ripe Mexican papaya is sweet, juicy, and melts into a juicy custard of flavor in your mouth. The seeds are eatable and have a nice spicy flavor.
Papaya is long known as a powerful digestive enzyme. In many cases a papaya tablet will alleviate mild stomach digestive problems. It contains papain which is an enzymatic support for the digestive track.
Native cultures also used mashed papaya as a wound application for burns, bug bites, and rashes. Now you will find many beauty products with papaya advertised as face masques to enhance your skin and help you look youthful.
Basic Papaya or a Neophytes First Papaya
(I was that neophyte when I moved to New Mexico!)
A ripe papaya is orange, red, a bit greenish, and a bit soft but not mushy. Be sure to fully wash the outside of the fruit to remove any farm-fresh contaminants like fertilizers!
Cut through the middle of the papaya. The riper it is the more seeds there will be in the middle. Cut up some cubes of the papaya and add a squeeze of lime and a pinch of salt. The flavor of the fresh papaya will burst in your mouth! It is a unique and lovely flavor.
For a great breakfast take your Coffee Purist coffee with you, a dish of papaya and eat out on the patio. This is even better if the hummingbirds are feeding at the Hyssop bush. Ahhh…
Papaya Tropical Salad Recipe
Dusting of cinnamon
Dusting of chilé
Kosher salt to taste
Cut the fruit to similar sized pieces and gently toss in the lime, cinnamon, chilé, and salt. Let rest for a few minutes in order to mingle the flavors and give the salt time to draw out the lovely juices. The chilé is an important ingredient to bring out the fresh flavor.
Serving suggestions: Plain, over lemon cake, over ice cream, and over a nice roast pork loin!
For the pork loin savory papaya salad adds chilé peppers, red onion, and garlic. This is a good idea if you have any left over Tropical Salad but you may never have left-overs, so you may have to make it from scratch!
Juice it recipe!
Very simply take the papaya, pineapple, oranges, orange juice, and a can of guava nectar and blend. Freeze half of this in ice cube trays. Then pour the rest of the juice over the frozen cubes.
Add chunks of papaya to a salad with a sweet dressing like raspberry balsamic vinegar and pine nuts. This salad also has sweet red onion in it for a nice contrast.
Now stay with me on this. This is very different but delicioso!
Once you will try this you will like it!
Mango Snack Recipe
1 mango peeled and seed removed
½ t. chilé powder (make it a scant half if you are concerned, you can always add more!)
1 pinch of salt (little bit of salt)
One banana cut up
A few pecans
Several squeezes of lime juice
Gently toss and let sit for a few minutes
The salt is the critical ingredient. It only takes a pinch as the purpose of the salt is to help the mango release all those wonderful juices. Too much salt will ruin this!
Sit back and spoon a very different but delicioso fruit snack!
For more background on the mango please see the link to Mango Altaulfo Pudding.
Is anyone else feeling very tropical right now?