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Papaya, Mango, Pineapple, and Other NY-style Tropical Fruit Drinks, Plus Hot Dogs!

[ NEW YORK, NY - NYC - 6/10/2007 - www.Littleviews.com ]

Map of Papaya Stand LocationsIn New York City, thick, creamy papaya and other whipped fruit drinks are associated with cheap hot dogs and garish, yellow decorating schemes even though these drinks are luxurious and exotic!

In the mid-1930s, the owner of Papaya King initiated the tropical fruit drink and hot dog era when he added German sausage (the frankfurter) to his menu. Popularity bred competition and so, by today, you can sample these wonderful drinks at some 20 different, questionably decorated stands throughout Manhattan. Most are located in the Midtown/university area (as seen on the map), with a few Downtown and the rest on the far north side.

Along with papaya, I love whipped mango. Both taste best served at a temperature of between 60 and 65 degrees and, when properly prepared, they have a fluffy, soft head and a dense, creamy body, almost like melted sorbet or a very light milk shake.

When you visit a papaya stand, skip the dogs and go right for the drinks. Note, however, that seating at a papaya stand is limited, or non-existent, so plan on drinking your treat while strolling. I prefer small cups (Gray's Papaya and Papaya Dog both have 8 ounce sizes at just a tad over $1), but 12 ounce and larger sizes are popular ($2 to $2.50). You can also buy half and full gallons.

Papaya King on 7th Avenue and 14th Street makes its juice at least twice a day in order to serve the creamiest products. They recommend that if you take a large container home, you need to refrigerate it as soon as possible. Prior to serving, rewhip the juice with an egg beater or stick blender to regain its creaminess. Separation occurs over time.

Make a point of sampling these tropical drinks, which are laced with milk and a touch of sugar, at several different papaya stands. The fruit pulp alone contains 10 calories per ounce, plus natural vitamins. Common to all papaya stands are large mixing tanks, one tank per fruit type. By all means, take pictures of these prep areas as they make great souvenir photos.

Questions? Just ask!
Karen Little

Article and photo by Karen Little. First published on 6/10/2007. All rights reserved by www.Littleviews.com.

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