When you walk through the misty mountains of Santo Antão, you will find Papaya trees everywhere. And so it turned out that the most common sweet of Cape Verde is `Doce de Papaia`. It is a Papaya jam wich is normally served with goat cheese and bread.
After eating many times Doce de Papaia, we decided to ask our host Helder from Divin Art in Santo Antão, if he can teach us how to do it. One day later at 8 in the morning, we were standing with Carlos in the Divin Art kitchen, peeling the papayas.
So here we have the recipe for you 😛
Doce de Papaia recipe
Time: 3-4 hours
Quantity: 20 glasses of jam
Ingredients for Doce de Papaia:
- 3 pieces green Papaya (around 3kg)
- 2 green lemons
- 1kg white cane sugar
Carlos tells us, he prefers to use only green papayas. Because the flesh of the yellow papaya is too soft and too sweet.
The sugar cane is used because it is also a local ingredient growing in every valley of this island.
Preparing the ingredients for Doce de Papaia:
- peel the papayas
- scrape out the seeds
- cut the papaya into stripes
- grate it on a thin cheese grater
- put all in a big pot
- peel the green lemons and put the skin into the pot
- squeeze them out and put them also inside
- add one litre of water
Cooking the jam:
- Now it is time to light up the fire-place and to put the pot on top.
- During the cooking process you have to add water a few times and keep on stirring to prevent it from getting burned on the bottom.
- After 1 1/2 hours you can add half of the sugar, and keep boiling.
- After 2 hours, the papayas are soft.
- Go off the heat and put a new and clean pot on the fire
- Now, caramelise the other half of the sugar until it is brown.
- Add one litre of water and boil it up again until all of the caramelised sugar is dissolved.
- Add the cooked papayas and boil it until almost all of the water is reduced to a minimum.
During this process, your green jam will turn brown.
- Now it is finished and you can fill up the hot jam in clean glasses and close it fast to preserve it for longer times.
Last but not least: taste it!
After around four hours we were holding our own glass of Doce de Papaia in our hands.Of course we had to try it immediately to see how our first Doce de Papaia tastes. After our visit to Sal island, the time on Santo Antão and preparing the local sweet was an awesome experience and definitely not the last time of doing this!
At this point I want to thank all ‘Divin Art’ People for showing us their recipe. And when you are on Santo Antão, I can highly recommend to stop at their restaurant and have a delicious lunch or a dinner. They also offer spacious rooms to stay there overnight.