Papaya Fleshshake

In food on 06/27/2009 at 9:17 am

Done! Seems like for the past couple years, every time I finish a semester, I watch the latest season of Dexter, America’s favorite serial killer. To celebrate the end of boards (well, board, I decided just to take one instead), I expunged my brain again. This is the last weekend of freedom for me, for a year.

In honor of my future profession and my buddy Dexter, I present to you a lusciously flesh-colored, Hufu-equivalent of a pulpy beverage from my youth, reminiscent of hot summers and night markets in a third world country too big for its britches, Taiwan. Nothing quenches your thirst on a humid night like a tall frosty glass of this sweet, creamy concoction. Might be quite tasty with a dash of an aged ocho años Cuban rum…

Papaya has many uses besides this easy drink. Wiki: “The black seeds are edible and have a sharp, spicy taste. They are sometimes ground up and used as a substitute for black pepper. In some parts of Asia the young leaves of papaya are steamed and eaten like spinach. In parts of the world papaya leaves are made into tea as a preventative for Malaria, though there is no real scientific evidence for the effectiveness of this treatment.”

Like a plantain, the green unripe version is used savory, shredded in the famous Thai salad, the sweet & spicy and vinegary goodness. In the world of medicine, it is used as a contraceptive and as the extract papain, which Harrison Ford’s doctors used as an alternative treatment to surgery following an back injury while he was filming the Indiana Jones series. Papain is the ingredient in the corrosive injection that ate away at the necrotic areas of his ruptured disc.

I haven’t had a good papaya fleshshake in a long time, usually because fruit is darned expensive and after I went to Hawaii and sampled their local tropical delights, eating fruit stateside has been like watching black and white television, devoid of real taste and excitement. We found our papaya for this introduction to the other half, who’d never tried papaya before, at Trader Joe’s in Westfield, a very cute town nearby.

1 papaya, cubed (the more flesh you add, the thicker the shake)
whole organic milk
1-2 tsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract (if you have non-local-Hawaii fruit, to punch up the flavor)

Whizz together ingredients. If you have a superpowerful Vita-mix blender, crushed ice cubes may be added. I find it dilutes the papaya flavor.

Cheers to the dark passenger…

bubble tea seeds

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