Chilean Papayas & Sea Bass, Featuring a delicious Chardonnay

by Liz Caskey on June 6, 2011


Today’s video uses indigenous Chilean ingredients now being exported to the US.  Chilean papayas are known as “carica candamarcensis,” or Mountain papayas, and have no resemblance to their tropical cousins. Similar in shape to a starfruit with a thin, yellow skin, these papayas are grown in the Northern arid areas near La Serena and MUST be cooked before being consumed. They have a barely sweet, musky taste and a toothy texture between a pear and peach. They are now being conserved and exported in jars to the US and available at major supermarkets or specialty grocers like Puro Chile in New York City or Foster’s Foods in Atlanta. This flavor is uniquely Chilean.

In this recipe, the inherent sweetness of the fruit, akin to a shirt-soaker tomato, is used instead of tomatoes in the traditional pebre dish.  Pebre is a type of local salsa found on every Chilean table and used on everything from bread to potatoes, eggs, meat, and of course, fish. The fruitiness of the papaya plays with the tropical fruit and bold acidity in this fruit forward, unoaked Natura Chardonnay from Emiliana Orgánico. Here we pair it with corvina, a type of sea bass (not Chilean sea bass). You can use any firm, white fish with some fat like grouper, halibut, or even sea bass itself. The fullness of the wine also complements the oils in the fish for bite after bite of bliss.  Enjoy!

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