Some of my favorite fruits in the world are tropical. Although I love all fruit, the taste, color and smell of mango, pineapple, passion fruit, papaya, kiwi and persimmon, to name just a few, transport me straight outta this forbidding New England climate to an exotic tropical island. So, while searching around for a recipe from the Pacific Island of Nauru, this one for Mango Papaya Sherbet verily begged me to make it. How could I refuse?
Sadly, the island is now at risk of disappearing. In part due to rising sea levels as a result of global warming, but also of strip mining the phosphate resources that once made the island one of the richest in the world. Corruption, poor governance and environmental exploitation has left this once lovely island ravaged and barren.
I couldn't find any recipes specific to Nauru (but that doesn't mean they don't exist). The closest I came was a Pacific Islands cookbook, that made mention of the island. Coconut, bananas, cassava, fruit and fish are the foods predominantly eaten. Due to terrible economic problems, fresh food has become hard to come by. Many families now rely on canned and prepared food due to a lack of fertile land and agriculture. One statistic I came across claimed that this tiny island has the highest obesity and heart-disease rate in the world.
Mango Papaya Sherbet (Adapted from the Pacific Islands Cookbook)
3/4 cup ripe papaya pulp
3/4 cup mango pulp
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1-1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
1 cup sugar
Press papaya and mango through a coarse sieve or colander. Add lemon and orange juice.
Di solve sugar in milk and add gradually to the fruit mixture.
Pour into pan and freeze, stirring every half-hour, or used an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer directions.
Final Assessment: OMG - this sherbet is the best I've EVER tasted...and I'm not just blowing my own horn. My boys, my most loving, but also harshest critics, unanimously agree. So there you have it - dreamy-tropical deliciousness in a bowl.