I'd felt a bit silly spending so much on the papaya. But the cashier had already weighed it, rung it up and bagged it, and it had been such a very long time since I'd last tasted papaya.
I felt a little sillier, and quite a bit more annoyed, when over a week later I gave up on the fruit ever ripening beyond its evenly yellow-skinned state and cut into it. Although the flesh was pleasantly tender, yielding easily to the knife I'd finally got around to sharpening, it was an unappetising yellow and mostly tasteless, except for a hint -- say, about 12 per cent -- of the papaya flavour I'd grown up to expect.
What to do? I don't go around throwing food in the bin just because I don't like it, even if it's cheap. And in this land that still considers papaya an "exotic" fruit, it was not cheap. So to the bin it definitely would not go.
But neither do I force myself to swallow unpalatable food just to prove a point.
So, in summary, I had two problems to solve:
1) How not to throw a perfectly good (but perfectly unenjoyable) papaya out
2) How to make myself enjoy the papaya experience more
The papaya redeemed itself for so disappointing me in its raw form. Mashed and mixed with butter, eggs, flour and sugar, baked to a crisp brown on top, it was delicious.
Especially when sliced thick, pan-fried, and crowned with a dollop of ricotta.
Some mistakes are expensive. Few are irredeemable.
With the right interventions, some are very tasty.