Papaya or pawpaw is a ‘Bondian’ fruit in more ways than one. James Bond eats a papaya with a slice of lime for breakfast – along with a selection of other tropical fruit and the inevitable scrambled eggs and bacon – during his first morning in Jamaica in Live and Let Die (1954). Papayas were a common sight on the breakfast table at Goldeneye, Ian Fleming’s winter retreat in Jamaica. During her visit to Goldeneye in 1948, Ann Fleming recorded how breakfast would typically consist of pawpaw, Black Mountain coffee, scrambled eggs and bacon. And the large green fruit that forms part of James Bond’s breakfast in the film of Live and Let Die (1973) – presumably a nod to his breakfast in the original novel – looks suspiciously like a papaya (but it could equally be a mango).
While we can’t be certain of the last, the connection between papaya and James Bond is clear, and having one for breakfast is an easy and inexpensive way to experience the James Bond lifestyle.
Preparing the fruit is simple. When the fruit is suitably ripe (the skin should retain an impression when gently squeezed), cut it in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and any firmer flesh from the centre, and then cut the fruit into convenient slices or scoop out the flesh with a teaspoon. Large papayas serve two, the smaller ones are good for one person.