The Taste of Papaya in Italy

This has been my second visit to Italy, to a Maths conference again, and yet another magical experience. This time I went to Varese, the head quarters of the Vibram 5 fingers factory. In my eyes, Italy is the fruitarian heart of Europe, and a beautiful country with kind people who like to smile.

Traveling is always tricky. Although a fruit meal is an option on a plane,

fruit may not be ripe enough. On the way to Italy it wasn’t, during the trip back home it was better though. I took up the membership of Qantas Club this year, which made things a lot easier. I visited the Qantas Lounge and feasted on mandarins

and tropical fruit.

My presence must have made the waiters cut the fruit at a slightly higher rate than usual – and I am grateful to have had the liberty of eating to my heart content. I had some fruit with me too, grapes and dates, and so my trip was quite comfortable. The conference organizers were very kind too to provide us with some extra fruit after noticing on the first day my keen attitude towards fruit. Doesn’t it look spectacular?

The most exquisite fruitarian experience in Italy for me was when I went to a local shop in a little street and spotted a papaya. A kind I never had before. There were three papayas in the shop and I got only one, thinking I would go back there and get some more. I should have got them all! The next day there was no more papaya there. This was the sweetest, the most heavenly papaya I ever had. My friend Gurth from I Heart Fruit forum explained to me that the papaya looks just like papino, the tastiest papaya in South Africa. I admit I did not check the stickers and so I do not know where this fabulous papaya was from. Some people say they are not too keen on papaya, but I could live on it alone for days and days. I imagine I could have enough of it one day, but perhaps not so quick.

I am not claiming to have lived on fruit only in Italy. In the evenings, when I went out with my colleagues to local restaurants, I would have a selection of veggies.  This alone was a big stretch, one waiter laughed at me for ordering veggies only, in a cute sort of way, not a mean way. You can imagine how odd my behavior was to him.

Back home.