Have you always dreamed of being able to eat endless amounts of ice cream directly from the bowl? But you have always been worried about feeling guilty doing that? We have a simple, healthy and enjoyable solution for you: papaya sorbet!
What is a papaya
Papaya is a tropical plant native to Central America and cultivated today in regions with a tropical and subtropical climate all over the world.
Commonly speaking, when we talk about Papaya, we mean its delicious fruit. Green, yellow, orange or pink, this fruit with an oblong shape is a concentrate of sweetness and freshness that is difficult to resist.
A single papaya can weigh up to 9 kg, although those sold around the world rarely exceed the weight of 1kg for practical reasons.
How to recognize a (good) ripe papaya
To understand if your papaya has reached the right stage of ripeness you can use at least 4 of the senses you have been given:
First of all, rely on the sight: a well ripe papaya stands out when you look at it. It must appear, for the most common varieties, of an externally bright orange, but most importantly it should be deep orange inside.
Notice how it is colored when you are approaching to buy one. In fact, usually papayas are harvested from the tree long before the actual ripening, still completely green. But if you can see some yellow-orange longitudinal streak on the fruit, this will be an indication that the papaya has been left to ripen longer on the tree, and as a result will be sweeter and tastier.
Having passed the test of sight, take your papaya in your hand and touch it: a papaya is well ripe if pressing it gently you are able to win the resistance of the skin. Be light and gentle with the papaya when you perform this test, otherwise you will ruin it.
If it seems hard as a stone, wait a few more days. But if your fingers easily sink into it, then it's too late. The internal pulp should be soft and almost melt in the mouth.
If even the touch test has been overcome, rely on your sense of smell: a papaya is well ripe if you can smell it.
In reality, this is the least reliable indicator, because for different reasons it can happen that a papaya does not perfume even if it is ripe or, on the contrary, perfumes without being ripe yet. But it seemed right to take note also about this aspect: if you can, always choose a papaya that smells.
At this point you just have to open your papaya and rely on the taste: a papaya is well ripe if it is sweet and tasty. Your mind should be able to send you the correct feedback! So trust it, and once opened, eat it only if it thinks it is good.
If still unripe, your papaya will be harder and less flavorful. If too ripe, your papaya will be soft and will taste like alcohol due to fermentation. In both of these cases, if you continue to eat it and your body is sensitive, you may feel a tingling in your lips and tongue. Nothing serious, but it is the way that your body uses to send you the message "stop eating this papaya because it does not do me too well!" ... You should listen to it.
How to prepare a papaya sorbet
What is needed:
- 1 ripe papaya;
- 1 knife;
- 1 tablespoon (possibly thin/sharp);
- 1 plate (optional for temerarious people);
- 1 small bowl (optional for temerarious people).
What to do:
Rinse the papaya with fresh water to remove any dust, soil and other substances. Do not strain too much, as the peel of this fruit is normally not eaten.
Leaning on a hard surface (cutting board, table, floor, ...), place the papaya in a vertical position so that the part of the stalk is facing downwards. With the knife, make a cut starting from the upper tip and along its entire length, so as to divide the fruit into two.
Why do you cut by following the long side rather than vice versa? The explanation goes back to the South Americans, who claimed that in this way the energy of the fruit is preserved and its seeds can successfully sprout. Believe it or not, it does not matter! For sure, cutting it like that is even more pleasing to the eye and makes the seeds removal process easier!
Take one of the halves and remove the seeds from the pulp, putting them in a small bowl. To do this you can gently use your fingers. If instead you are one of those people who can't stand dirty hands you can use the classic spoon. Personally, we believe that using the fingers is more satisfying. Repeat the operation also on the second half of the papaya.
Your papaya sorbet is ready.
That's it? Of course, this is a non-recipe, remember. Place your papaya-bowl on the plate, so you will not get dirty while eating. Arm yourself with a spoon and taste the papaya exactly like when you eat ice cream from the bowl. Just put a little more attention when you approach the skin to not damage it internally and disperse all the juice. Do not eat the peel (although some people like it).
For those who are not easily satisfied: you can add to your sorbet the pulp of a passion fruit, the juice of a lemon, coconut flackes or anything else (well, maybe not Nutella, otherwise you will not be able to eat a huge quantity of the sorbet as your health will be affected!) to get a more elaborate taste.
Pay attention to the waste
After such a pleasurable sorbet, what remains are the peel of the papaya and its seeds. But throwing them in the trash may not be the only choice available to you.
If you have a garden, you can decide to dig a small hole and donate these scraps to the Earth, so as to nourish the soil and thank it for what it has given you. In particular, if you live in a place with a favorable climate you could even plant the seeds. In this way, you will give them the opportunity to develop and do what they were designed for. And who knows, maybe someday enjoy a papaya directly from your tree!
If you live in the countryside and you have animals, you can feed them the papaya skin. From our personal experience, we know that ducks and goats adore papaya peel. You just have to do your experiments and maybe let us know the results!
For people who love experimenting new tastes: recycle the seeds using them as a substitute for pepper or eating them directly, as it is known that they have many nutritional properties. Here you can find all the instructions to do it.
Most likely, you were extremely pleased to eat papaya this way. If after you have finished a whole one you are not satisfied yet and would like to devour another one ... Just do it! Our advice is to enjoy how many sorbets your body wants! The good thing about fruits is exactly that: there are no limitations in their consumption.
Let us know your thoughts after you tried this non-recipe of a papaya sorbet. And for any doubts, advice or suggestions do not hesitate to drop a comment below.