Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Would you like papaya with that?

A high point of my stay in Kauai has been has been my daily treat, a fresh papaya smoothie. Papayas are in season now and can be had for next to nothing; at the Koloa market yesterday, large, 2-3-pound fruit were going for just two dollars!

At these prices, I can afford to stock up and so my  little kitchen hasn't been without them. For a smoothie that generously feeds one, the recipe goes like this:

1/2 papaya
1/2 c plain, nonfat yogurt
1 banana
2 glugs of soy milk (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 c bran cereal, such as Fiber 1 or All Bran
4 ice cubes

Whir the whole thing in a blender until ingredients are well mixed and ice is crushed. I guarantee that you will be trying to lick the inside of the glass to get every drop. As you can see from the shape of my preferred smoothie glass, this is an ongoing challenge.

Kauai's papayas are a delicious but endangered species. During the second half of the twentieth century, papayas on every Hawaiian island except Kauai have become infected with  the ringspot virus. As the fruit is re-introduced, many farmers are opting to plant a genetically modified version. The citizen group, GMO-Free Kauai, charges that the genetically modified papaya is less resistant to disease and unpopular with importing countries. Keeping Kauai's papayas pure is a cause celebre and GMO-Free Kauai has begun a grass-roots program testing the island's papayas to ensure that they haven't been contaminated with the genetically altered variety.

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