Papaya, The Fruit of Love
Legend has it that the papaya comes from an impossible love, jealousy, revenge, rage of a spiteful man.
Like any best seller, this is the story of a beautiful, innocent, voluptuous, seductress indigenous; a dashing, brave and handsome conqueror; a dark heart warrior; a kind father.
Those were the times of conquest and like other stories, a Spanish captain fell in love with the daughter of the chief of a tribe. Contrary to what usually happens, the chief accepted the couple, gave his blessings and set a wedding date. But tragedy struck when a clan warrior, blinded by love, ended the story that seemed to be “happily ever after” striking Spanish man hard.
The climax of the novel takes place at the Elqui River banks on a warm summer night. Lovers were for a walk among willows and water lilies when the heartless Indian suddenly attacked the boy by treachery and one stroke was enough to end his life.
The Indian girl, battered and disconsolate, remained hugging the body of his beloved, crying with such pain that caused her death, dying for love.
Small plants sprouted from her tears, which eventually became trees. Their golden and sweet fruits, shaped like a teardrop, are known as papaya.
Those are stories, the truth is that the first reference to this “fruit of love” dates from 1535, when Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo in his General and Natural History of the Indies spoke of it as exotic and delicious fruit. The writer and Spanish colonizer tells in a letter to Emperor Carlos, that it grows wild in southern Mexico and Central America, even though there was proof that it was eaten throughout the Caribbean. At the end of fourteenth century and during the fifteenth, its cultivation spread throughout the Philippines, Malaysia, South China, Ceylon and Hawaii, by Spanish and Portuguese navigators.
It’s not a surprise so success, because papaya is all benefits. In addition to its sugars, pectin, vitamins and organic acids, it has papain, a substance that dramatically improves intestinal function, softens food and makes them more digestible.
On second thought, maybe it was not love the motive of such a crime. It may be that heartless warrior was just suffering a terrible indigestion.