Living in a tropical country has made me lucky enough to have access to some fruits all year round, including the papaya. Though I mostly eat this in their orange/red/ripe stage, it has come to my attention recently that there is more to this than just that eating it as a fruit. Like langka or jackfruit, this fruit is treated like a vegetable in its unripe stage. I have recently eaten ginataang papaya (papaya in coconut milk) and found it sweet and yummy.
I was looking for recipes and found limited options in the Filipino cuisine, mostly going back to the Tinola (boiled chicken, like chicken soup) that is littered with many veggies such as malunggay, sayote and papaya. And atchara, pickled unripe papaya. But nothing that makes the papaya stand out, which is kinda frustrating. But I guess it gave me a reason to look at other cuisines this time, to use papaya.
Another surprising thing I found out was it because it was a very sappy fruit (not like a sad fruit, but a lot of sap), it is used to tenderize meats. Though I have read but one way to do this, and it was just really to add the grated papaya to the meat, I have yet to read a full thing on it 🙂 But let’s see where this takes me! 🙂