The Free Range Gourmet Free range thoughts on the finest ingredients, cuisine, and fine dining in Hawaii.

Range Gourmet

  Local Hawaii ingredients used with an international flair

        ^BNanette^K^H (Gone but not forgotten) 1946-2020


Sunday, August 08, 2004


The secret about papayas is out

Yup, it's too late. Tourists have been seen frequenting the Saturday Farmers' Market at KCC, and now they know our papaya secret. The word is out, and it's "oishii!".

Sunrise PapayaHotel guests and sunbirds have discovered that we have been keeping the best papayas to ourselves all these years. Hotels generally serve the same yellow Solo papayas that visitors are used to back home. Since 1999, all of the 'Solo' papayas grown in Hawaii are transgenic--they have a gene inserted to confer resistance to papaya ringspot virus. So it is these yellow papayas that are exported to the Mainland. For the delicious Sunrise and other orange or red-fleshed varieties that many of us prefer, the farmer's best defense is avoidance of the virus. Those who take pains to care for their crop produce excellent, delicious fruits that most tourists have never experienced.

Until now. Tourists are flocking to the Saturday Market. Now they know!

The free range gourmet can find several vendors at KCC offering non-GMO vendor selling non-GMO papayaspapayas that ripen beautifully in a few days and have excellent flavor. This week Nanette bought Sunrise papayas from Nakama Farm. You can see which vendors have papayas from the weekly tip sheet that is available on-line each Thursday. Or be a free range gourmet yourself and choose from the vendors that you find.

We've switched from the health food store to the Saturday market -- the quality is simply better. And although my research isn't complete, I believe that fewer of them show the ringspot virus as they sit in their basket on our countertop at home. That's really important--we were throwing away too many bought at the health food store.

The Saturday Market web page now includes recipes for some of the fresh ingredients available at the market. There is one for Papaya-Avodado-Shrimp Salad that you might enjoy. But who needs a recipe? Half of a Sunrise papaya for breakfast is a great way to begin the day.


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