Papaya: universal and versatile!
The papaya, which originated in Mexico and Central America, first spread to the Caribbean and the Americas and then, beginning in the 16th Century, crossed the oceans thanks to the Spanish and Portuguese, before being brought some time later to Reunion Island by the French. In keeping with its geographical universality, the papaya is one of the most versatile fruits in the world, used in salads while still green, mainly in Asia, and of course, in an unlimited range of preparations once it has ripened. Its complex flavor combines fruity notes such as melon, peach and apricot, as well as vegetable flavors such as carrot and sweet potato. It brilliantly blends with many fruits in pastry-making such as passion fruit, melon, mango and others. In savory dishes, it is used to make soups and mixes well with ginger, lime, tarragon and basil, to accompany fish, seafood and poultry. In mixology, it contributes its tropical flavor, its saffron color and its velvety texture to numerous cocktails, smoothies and milkshakes. Its dietetic virtues allow it to be classed as a super-fruit: rich in vitamins and antioxidants, providing digestive balance through its enzyme (papain) and fibers, without mentioning the benefits of its amino-acids, carotenoids and other mineral trace elements.