the papaya was something i was not aware i would have such a roller coaster relationship among the things i expected upon moving to peru.
i think that before i met the real papaya... i imagined it this exotic fruit which made me cool to have papaya guava mango sorbet in my fridge instead of ice cream. i had no idea what it looked like, and i had no idea what the actual fruit tasted like.
i moved to peru... and actually lived several months without much knowledge about this oh so close fruit. i noticed in markets and supermarkets this huge orange melon looking stuff with all these interesting black seeds. but i never asked what it was, there were lots of other things going on so new and bright in my life, who had time to ask what that big fruit was? which one? theres so many!
then i met jugo de papaya. papaya juice. and well... we didnt have a very good first impression of each other, at least i can say that on my part. its thick.... this is a juice? are you sure? and i wasnt so convinced of the flavor. new flavor + new texture for a girl thats not all that into the texture thing... = bad news and avoidance. i quickly learned to ask in restaurants for no papaya in my fruit salad and tried to avoid it at all costs.
might i also add a special note: of a time when i met with a friend to go get a special breakfast in the market early one morning... i was super excited... waiting on my juice and sandwich. until i recieved two glasses so big i didint even know that size of a glass existed in peru (we drink from small glasses) and both were for me... one serving was two glasses... and both were full of... random fruits also but the main ingredients? papaya and egg. ...yeah. blend it up and drink it down! fast......
but we cannot avoid things forever can we?
several months ago i was spending a lot of time at a friends house with her family, going to a bible study with them and since it was late and i lived farther away from them i stayed the night. and... her mom always made breakfast... and.... it was always... you guessed it... jugo de papaya. now, imagine yourself in my position. youve spent months ... more than a year avoiding this fruit. but here you are and the hospitality of your friends mom offers it to you. you cant say no. you just dont. unless you are allergic you just dont say no. i tried to say that i dont usually eat breakfast (which was true) but that was just not acceptable. so... for several weeks i drank papaya juice once a week.
im not sure exactly when it started... but not long after those series of weeks... i started forgetting to ask for no papaya in my fruit salad.
and here we are .... a lot of time has passed.... im married.... we are buying kitchen appliances... a blender! we got a blender this month! a normal person would think of smoothies and i dont know what more... i got excited about buying my first papaya. (and of grinding up my whole bean coffee ive had for an embarrassingly long time thats been waiting to be ground and enjoyed...but thats not a part of the papaya story)
so as part of our first grocery store visit this month, we bought a blender... and a papaya. or half a papaya rather, those suckers are big! and here i am... drinking my papaya juice for breakfast as though ive done it all my life.
oh the irony.
oh the papaya.