• Kate

Put the Papaya in the Coconut

I went to the store at the beginning of the week with no plan. I had not thought about what I was going to eat, not only for my gathering but for the week in general. When this happens, and I go shopping willy-nilly, things happen.

I buy random shit.

There is this market I love that is about a 30-minute walk from my home. They have a great array of produce that it is pretty cheap. I can fill my backpack for $20, and it is wonderful.

This time, while I was walking up and down the aisles, I randomly grabbed papaya. I have never purchased papaya before. It was there, it was on sale, and I had no plan. So what the hell, we will see what we can get out of papaya.

After I made this trip, I needed to go to the store the next day and round out my shopping. Nothing I purchased went together and I had bits and pieces that needed other items to flesh out a real recipe.

Coconut milk was on my list, I was going to try and make a papaya sorbet to accompany a coconut rum drink.

Put the Papaya in the Coconut

For Sugar Water

  • ½ C Water

  • ¼ C Sugar

  • Juice from 1 Lemon

For Papaya Sorbet

  • 1C Frozen Papaya

  • ¼ C Sugar Water (About)

Per Cocktail

  • Scoop Sorbet

  • 2 Oz Coconut Milk

  • 2 Oz Spiced Rum

The day before----

Papaya is weird. I have never worked with the fruit before and I honestly forgot what it tasted like or what it even looked like when you cut it open. Is there a pit? Are there seeds? Do the seeds look like that of a pumpkin? I had no idea.

I dove in without looking anything up on the internet. I wanted to be surprised. So, I peeled the large fruit and discovered it was slippery as crap. Wicked hard to hold on to.

Then the moment of truth, cutting it in half. Even though I was not sure if there was a large peach-like pit in the center I cut that baby down the middle. The knife went through with ease, like slicing warm butter and the fruit fell open.

The seeds inside papaya are also weird. They are small black pearls that have the wrinkly texture like that of capers. You are going to want to scoop those out and discard them.

I found out later that these are edible. They are supposed to have a sort of peppery flavor and are used in savory dishes for an added bite


Papayas are rather large, and we do not need the whole thing, so if you can try to find a store that sells half of a papaya.

Cube the fruit and store in an airtight container to freeze.

Fast forward to the day of … In a small saucepan combine water, lemon, and sugar. Heat until the sugar has dissolved then set aside to cool.

Take those frozen papaya pieces out of the freezer and pop them into your blender. We are going to make a quick and easy sorbet. The amounts are going to vary to get the correct consistency so keep the frozen papaya pieces handy.

Begin with about 1C fruit and ¼ C water. Blend the frozen fruit until it smooths out, but remains cold and thick.

As you are blending assess if you need to add more water or more fruit. Aim for the consistency of soft ice cream.

In a glass scoop two healthy scoops of the sorbet and allow it to run up the side instead of along the bottom. Think about splitting the glass in half long ways.

In a separate glass filled with ice combine coconut milk and rum, mix with a spoon to cool then pour it into the sorbet glass.

Enjoy with a spoon!

This is a spoon drink, one of my friends learned the hard way that the rum/coconut mixture was pretty heavy on the rum. He took a large swig, disregarding the spoon and sorbet and coughed immediately. So...don’t forget the spoon!

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