The papaya, popular in Cuba, is a delicious fruit and, it is said, an aid to digestion.
- 1 5-lb. papaya
- 4 cups sugar
- Peel from 1 lime
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Cut papaya in half lengthwise, then scoop out and discard seeds. Peel papaya with a sharp knife, cut into 1"–2" chunks, and put into a large bowl. Set bowl aside.
Combine sugar, lime peel, and 4 cups cold water in a medium saucepan. Using the back of a knife, scrape seeds from the vanilla bean and add pod and seeds to pan. Cover and boil over medium-high heat, swirling pan once or twice, until sugar dissolves, 4–5 minutes. Remove and discard vanilla pod and lime peel. Pour syrup over prepared papaya and set aside to cool, then refrigerate until ready to serve. Refrigerated fruit in syrup will keep for several days.