Upon my return from Puerto Rico last week, a friend asked me if I took home any new food ideas. Sure! There is always something to learn from a different culture than our own. The simplest was discovered in a cafe in Old San Juan. While I ate my toasted Mallorca- a sweet bun toasted with butter, I spied an elderly couple eating a papaya, one half each with a wedge of lime, that was it. For one thing I have never tackled half of a papaya by myself nor with a squirt of fresh lime, I had only eaten papaya cubed up in fruit salads. But it was too late, the waiter had plunked down my Tortilla Espanola and I dove in with reckless abandon, although the thought of that papaya did not leave me. I decided that as soon as I got home and found a nice papaya in my grocery store, I would serve it as I had seen it that day in the cafe. Yesterday my papaya was the perfect green to yellow color, with a bit of give when I pressed it with my thumb, so I cut it in half length-wise, spooned out the seeds, and placed half on my plate with a squirt of fresh lime juice. Fantastic. I could not eat an entire half myself but I did manage a quarter. That’s what I enjoy about getting away- taking home even the simplest of ideas.
What food treasure ideas have you taken home from a vacation?