My first visit to Hawaii was a business trip to Honolulu. It was in September..2003, I think. We flew in on Tuesday and met for a group breakfast before the meeting Wednesday morning.
I was standing at the buffet with my colleague, Stu, who looked at my rather lame breakfast plate and said, “Try the papaya.”
“No thanks,” I said. “I’m not a big fan. I’ll take some pineapple, though.”
“Have you been to Hawaii before?” he asked.
“Then you’ve never tried papaya.”
I don’t remember if he actually put the fruit on my plate for me, but that is how it felt. So I went back to the table with him and tried it.
Melts in your mouth.
Stu explained that the shelf life of papaya is distressingly short, so it is near impossible to get “the peak of freshness” at home. Apparently, they don’t even bother to try and ship papaya from Hawaii to the Midwest, so the best we can do in Chicago is papaya from Mexico. And even that is too far away to get it at the exact right time.
So yeah. I am eating papaya every day. There is a charming market down the road that has bowls of cut fruit and I am absolutely loving it.
I hope they restock tomorrow.