Papaya

Carica Papaya

Folklore

Papaya has a long and storied history as not only an indigenous food in the Americas, but also a powerful medicinal. Originating in the tropics of Southern Mexico and Central America, the flowers of the papaya open at night and are pollinated by moths.

How to Serve

Popular in Southeast Asian cooking, green papaya is used both raw and cooked. It can be used for Thai curries or shredded in fresh salads. Green Papaya can also be paired with meat for a tropical flair with natural meat tenderizing properties.The spicy black seeds of the papaya are edible and are sometimes used as a substitute for black pepper. Papayas when not ripe, contain a latex fluid that can cause an allergic reaction in some people allergic to latex.

Nutrition

Papaya has 75% of recommended daily value of Vitamin C and 10% of the recommended daily value of folate, an important B vitamin which pregnant women need to help prevent birth defects.

Storage

Papayas are ripe when they feel soft and the skin has a yellow or orange color. Green Papayas, while unripe can also be used in cooked dishes and salads.

Recipes

Tropical Pork

Ingredients

  • 1 green papaya, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 pineapple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 4 pork chops or a pork tenderloins
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice
  • 2 teaspoons Soy Sauce
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 3 green onions chopped
  • ΒΌ cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 small jalepeno pepper, deseeded and chopped

Preparation
Mix honey, Chinese 5 Spice and Soy Sauce and coat pork–allow to sit for 30 minutes. Put papaya and pineapple in a bowl and pour lime juice over them. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Take half of papaya and pineapple salsa mixture and puree, adding water as needed to reach the right consistency. Add papaya-pineapple puree to pork and allow to sit for 30-60 minutes. Take remaining Papaya-Pineapple mixture and add green onions, cilantro and chilis. Heat Olive Oil in pan over high heat and add pork, cooking 3 minutes on each side until browned or internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Serve with remaining papapa-pineapple salsa.