Trying New Tropical Fruits – Breadfruit

I must confess that I’ve been sticking to the fruits and vegetables that I’m familiar with – pineapples, mangoes, guavas, papaya, avocadoes – these are the fruits of my childhood. But recently, I was introduced to some fruits that I’m not familiar with and I was pleasantly surprised. And so I decided that it was time to try all the fruits and vegetables Belize has to offer – good and not-so-good – and today I’m going to start with Breadfruit.

Breadfruit has long been a staple in the diets of the Pacific Islanders, but was introduced into the Caribbean in the late 18th-century when the British slave masters were looking for a very cheap food source alternative that was very high in nutrients to introduce into the diets of their slaves. This is the period that breadfruit was introduced to the Caribbean.

I had never heard of breadfruit before but I’ll say this; it’s not very inviting to look at

breadfruit

If I’d seen this at the fruit and vegetable stand before I’d eaten it, I would have given it a wide berth.

Its name is derived from the texture of the moderately ripe fruit when cooked, similar to freshly baked bread and having a potato-like flavor, but in reality, it takes the flavor of whatever you cook it with, so sometimes its prepared with coconut milk or with different kind of meats.

I was first introduced to it at the first bar that we went to when we first came here just over a month ago. It was served to me in the form of fries and did, indeed, taste like potatoes, but the texture was lighter and fluffier. The riper varieties of breadfruit taste sweeter because the starch converts to sugar.

breadfruit fries

I also learned that it’s high in vitamin C, a source of magnesium, a source of vitamin B1, high in fibre, sodium-free AND fat free. What’s not to love?

In Belize, It’s often prepared by cutting off the outer skin and cutting the fruit into slices, then deep fried to give it a crisp texture. The amount of crisp on the fried breadfruit depends on the thickness of the slices.

Breadfruit is delicious mashed or sautéed with garlic and oil. Some people also like to eat it mashed with coconut milk and baked in banana leaves. In Sri Lanka, it’s often featured in coconut curries, and in Puerto Rico, it’s traditionally eaten with salted codfish. This versatile fruit can also be candied, pickled, or cut into strips to make breadfruit French fries.

fried breadfruit

Breadfruit is delicious mashed or sautéed with garlic and oil. Some people also like to eat it mashed with coconut milk and baked in banana leaves. In Sri Lanka, it’s often featured in coconut curries, and in Puerto Rico, it’s traditionally eaten with salted codfish. This versatile fruit can also be candied, pickled, or cut into strips to make breadfruit French fries.

Not sure how to cook with breadfruit? Here’s some recipes to get you started.

Have you had breadfruit? Let me know in the comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.