Last week I bought a papaya. I live in Pennsylvania. The papaya lived in Belize. We met last week in the exotic fruit section of Wegman’s. It was sitting alongside other fruits from south of the Equator, such as persimmon and quince, which are both available locally but only in the fall.
I bought the papaya for my husband. He lived five years in India and has a soft spot for the fruits he ate there. I felt guilty buying the papaya. The “Product of Belize” label haunted me into the night. Belize is really far away from Pennsylvania.
My husband came home from work and I told him about the papaya. He seemed pleased. However, he never got around to eating the papaya. My guilt increased. I knew I wasn’t going to end up eating it either. I had a bunch of stuff to do and the leisurely eating of papaya wasn’t high on the list.
I began to feel very, very guilty over buying the papaya. Nobody wanted the papaya. So much energy went into transporting this papaya to the store and then to our home, where it required refrigeration. I didn’t want the papaya to grow soft and moldy in our fridge, yet my husband was leaving again for work in a couple of days.
So I decided to make papaya sorbet. The days here are quite hot, reaching well into the upper 90’s and low 100’s. Papaya sorbet would certainly get eaten and my local food guilt could be rationalized away by the idea of a rare, hot weather treat.
I vowed not to buy papaya again. To stick with local produce. Then I tasted the sorbet…. Looks like there is some more local food guilt in store for me.
I adapted Kurma’s recipe for Peach Sorbet from his book, Great Vegetarian Dishes. Here it is:
1 ½ c sugar
1 c water
1 really large papaya (sorry, can’t get more specific on measurements than that)
1 ½ teaspoons citric acid
1) boil water and sugar 3-4 minutes, cool syrup
2) blend fruit with smidge of water
3) add citric acid
4) combine syrup and blended fruit
6) when halfway frozen, whisk to get rid of icies
7) freeze again
Yum. Yum. Yum.