Turkey and papaya salad

illustration by MARK STIVERS

Every year around Thanksgiving, members of the Hmong community gather for Sacramento’s annual Hmong New Year celebration at Cal Expo (1600 Exposition Boulevard). Presented by the nonprofit Sacramento Hmong New Year Inc., it’s one of the largest events of the year for the community, with cultural activities, entertainment and plenty of great food vendors. If you’re new to Hmong food, make sure to try the following staples: sticky rice, Hmong sausage and papaya salad. If you’re already a fan, purchase some extra papaya salad to go. Then, if you’ve got any extra turkey, you can pair it with papaya salad. It may sound strange at first, but it’s a refreshing way to deal with all those leftovers. The blandness of a Thanksgiving turkey makes it a perfect accompaniment to the spicy and salty papaya salad. The event takes place on Thursday, November 22, through Sunday, November 25; entry costs $4, and parking is $10.