Tuesday, March 2, 2010

"Red Papaya Now Available!"

A lot is being written about papayas. This article in the Central Market News is specifically about our Caribbean Red papayas, and it's a great review. Central Market is a chain of supermarkets in Texas.

Article written by Austin M., Central Market Produce Inspector on Thursday, February 25 2010

We have a new variety of papaya available in your local Central Market Produce department, the Caribbean Red!

Grown in Belize, the Caribbean Red is the first papaya that I ever truly enjoyed. Reddish-orange in color and virtually odorless, these giant fruits have some depth to their flavor that almost resembles a good melon or even carrot. Like melon, it is considerably sweeter than its yellow counterpart: the Maradol.

Don’t be turned off by their green hue, the Caribbean Red is ready to eat at “partial color” (a 50/50 mix of yellow and green), as opposed the bright orange color that you would typically look for in other varieties. Ripening at home is easy; they’ll generally be perfect in a couple days when left on the counter.

If you haven’t cooked with papaya before, it is typically used as a salad fruit or ice cream topping, but works fantastically as a marinade, as its compounds work naturally to tenderize meat (most powdered meat tenderizers are actually made from papaya.)

While you’re working with papaya, make sure to taste the seeds, which have the same spicy compounds that you might encounter in horseradish or watercress. Although I personally can’t vouch for them as an ingredient, some more adventurous cooks use them for salad dressings.

Papaya salsa is taking off as the new fruit salsa of choice. Here’s a quick recipe to get you started:
1 papaya, seeded, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 onion, sliced (white will look best, but there’s no need to be picky)
6 tablespoons lime juice (fresh squeezed of course!)
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeƱo, seeded, chopped

Combine papaya,
red pepper, onion, lime juice, pineapple juice, cilantro, garlic and jalapeno; mix well. Refrigerate until served; use within 8 hours.