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Breadfruit are round, green, and bumpy with a white fibrous pulp. When cooked, the texture and scent is like that of freshly baked bread. The taste has been compared to different things at different stages of ripeness. When small and immature -artichoke hearts; when ripe - potatoes; and when overripe and sweet - yams.
Breadfruit is available through-out the year with short seasonal gaps.
The Breadfruit, known as Artocarpus Altilis, is a staple food of the South Pacific. It belongs to the Moraceae, or fig, family. The Latin name Artocarpus is derived from the Greek artos, meaning bread, and karpos, meaning fruit. Maui Brewing Company and Dogfish Head produced a limited edition craft beer in 2012 called Liquid Breadfruit, made with Breadfruit and toasted papaya seeds.
Breadfruit is high in energy from carbohydrates. It contains 70% water, is low in fat, and provides vitamin C and potassium.
Rarely eaten raw as it is very starchy, breadfruit can be steamed, boiled, roasted, fried, pickled, fermented, or frozen. The starch converts to sugar when the fruit is very ripe, making for a sweeter taste. Breadfruit can also be ground into a flour, which is gluten-free.
The National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii has established the Breadfruit Institute, which manages the largest (120 varieties) breadfruit collection in the world. The Breadfruit Institute works with tropical NGOs to address hunger issues in those regions by exporting thousands of trees to provide sustainable food sources around the globe.
Breadfruit is native to the South Pacific. Captain Bligh brought it from there to the Caribbean in the late 1700s. Currently, it is grown in 90 countries. Breadfruit trees are high yield and bear fruit within 3 - 5 years. They are easy to grow and require little maintenance. Aside from the fruit, breadfruit tree wood is used in canoe-making, and the latex produced by the trees can be used as boat caulk.
Recipes that include Breadfruit. One is easiest, three is harder.
People have spotted Breadfruit using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
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