Daily Archives: May 11, 2009



The papaya is the Fruit of the plant carica papaya in the genus carica. It is native to the tropics of the Americas, and was cultivated in Mexico several centuries before the emergence of the Mesoamerican classic cultures. It is sometimes called a big melon or a pawpaw but the north American pawpaw is a different species, in the genus asimina.

It is a large tree – like plant, the single stem growing From 5 to 10 metres talls, with spirally arranged leaves confirmed to the top of the trunk; the lower trunk is conspicuously scarred where leaves and Fruit were borne. The leaves are large 50-70 cm diameter, deeplypalmately lobed with 7 lobes. The tree is usually unbranches if unlopped. They appear on the exils of the leaves, maturing into the large 15-45 cm long, 10 – 30 cm diameter Fruit. The Fruit is ripe when it Feels soft and its skin has attained an amber to orange hue. The Fruit’s taste is vaguely similar to pineapple and peach, although much milder without the tartness.

It is the First Fruit tree to have its genome deciphered.


Green papaya Fruit and the tree’s latex are both rich in an enzyme called papain, a protease which is useful in tenderizing meat and other proteins. Its ability to break down tough meat Fibres was utilized For thousands of years by indigenous Americans. It is included as a component in powdered meat tenderizers, and is also marketed in tablet Form to remedy digestive problems. Green papaya is used in Thai cuisine, both raw and cooked.

Papain is also popular as a tropical application in the treatment of cuts, rashes, stings and burns. Papain ointment is commonly made From Fermented papaya Flesh, and is applied as a gel – like paste.

Allergies And Side Effects

Papaya is Frequently used For hair conditioner but should be used in small proportions. Caution should be taken when harvesting, as papaya is known to release a latex Fluid when not quite ripe, which can cause irritation and provoke allergic reaction in some people. The papaya Fruit, seeds, latex, and leaves also contain carpaine, an anthelmintic alkaloid which can be dangerous in high doses.

It is also commonly believed to induce abortions and is best avoided by pregnant women.

Excessive consumption of papaya, as of carrots, can cause carotenemia, the yellowing of soles and palms which is otherwise harmless.


Papaya recipes can easily be Found in Ayesha’s Kitchen.

VEGETABLE OF THE WEEK Spring Onion (Scallion)


A scallion, also commonly known as spring onion, green onion or salad onion, is associated with various members of the genus Allium that lack a Fully – developed bulb. Harvested For their taste, they tend to be milder than other onions and may be steamed or set in salads in Western cookery and cooked in many asian recipes. Diced scallions are often used in soup, noodle and seafood dishes, and in sauces in eastern dishes, after removing the bottom quarter inch or so of the root end.

The species most commonly associated with the name is the Welsh onion, Allium Fistulosum. Scallion is sometimes used For Allium ascalonicum, better known as the shallot. The words scallion and shallot are related and can be traced back to the Greek askolonion as described by the greek writer Theophrastus; this name, in turn, seems to originate From the Philistine town of Ascalon. The shallots themselves apparently came From Farther east.

Other Names And Varieties

Scallions have various common names throughout the world. In some, countries, green onions are called shallots, and shallots are referred to by alternative names such as eschallot or eschalotte.

  • Argentina: cebolla de verdo
  • Australia: shallots
  • Austria: jungzwiebel
  • Bolivia: cebolla verde
  • Brazil: cebolinha verde
  • Bulgaria: Fresh onion
  • Cambodia: slirk k’tum
  • Canada: green onion
  • Quebec: echalote
  • China: cong
  • Chile: cebollin
  • Colombia: rama or cebolla larga
  • Cuba: cebollino
  • Czech republic: jami cibulka
  • Dominican republic: puerro
  • Egypt: basal axdar
  • Finland: vihersipuli
  • France: ciboule
  • Germany: winterzwiebel
  • Italy: cipollotti

Etc. Etc. Etc.


The scallion is a culinary herb. Grown in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, it is similar in appearance to the scallion, Welsh onion and leek, though said by Jamaicans to be more Flavoursome. Like these others, it is a relatively mild onion that does not Form a large bulb.

The Jamaican name is probably a variant of scallion, although like scallion, this term is itself used loosely at different times to denote the spring onion, the leek, the shallot and the green stalk of the immature garden onion. The spelling escalion is recorded in the eighteenth century; scallion is older, dating From atleast the Fourteenth century. To add to the confusion, the spring onion is known in some countries as the eschallot. The term scallion is now not current in English outside its Jamaican usage.

Scallion is a common and much prozed ingredients in authentic Jamaican cuisine, in combination with thyme, scotch bonnet pepper, garlic and allspice (called primento). Recipes calling For scallion sometimes suggest the use of leek as a substitute, though in salads, scallions would be more appropriate; neither is seen by Jamaicans as truly adequate. Jamaican dried spice mixtures that include scallion are available commercially. Fresh scallion is difficult to Find and expensive outside Jamaica itself.


Spring onion recipes can be easily Found in Ayesha’s Kitchen:

Vegetable Mushroom Rice