If you’ve ever encountered a distant relative of the jackfruit, then you’ve encountered a breadfruit. It may not top your list of favorite fruits, but it is a tropical fruit with an interesting history and versatile uses. Let’s take a look at what a breadfruit is, where to find it and how to use it.
Breadfruit comes from the mulberry family and is an evergreen tree. The trees can reach up to 60 feet tall, with large spreading branches and large edible fruits that can range in size from a tennis ball to a soccer ball. Its most distinctive feature is its bumpy, textured exterior that many compare to a pinecone.
The flavor of the breadfruit is not very exciting when eaten raw. It is firm, starchy and slightly bitter. Its texture is somewhat absorbed when cooked and its taste and texture often compared to a combination of a potato and a yam or a banana.
Breadfruit is native to South and Southeast Asia, Polynesia and the Caribbean. Today, it can be found in the tropical regions of the world in tropical groves or in markets specializing in Southeast Asian products. In the markets, it might be labeled "Jackfruit" even though there is a difference between the two.
Breadfruit can be enjoyed cooked or roasted. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of the fruit. The cooked flesh of the fruit can be used as a meat substitute or in stews. Breadfruit is also transformed into chips, fries, desserts and fermented into wine.
Breadfruit can be used in a variety of recipes including curries and salads. It can be served boiled, roasted, fried, and blended in a creamy soup. It can also be made into a paste, pancakes and pastries. When it is dried and ground up, it becomes a flour that can be used in baking and as a thickener in other recipes.
Breadfruit is a excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, including potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron. It is high in carbohydrates, low in fat and contains high amounts of Vitamin C. Furthermore, breadfruit is a very sustainable crop as there is no need for fertilizers or chemical inputs, making it a great option for organic gardens.
In addition to being a tasty and nutritious food source, breadfruit has a longer growing season than most other crops. Breadfruit trees produce a higher yield than some other crops and are drought tolerant and resilient against many pests, making it an ideal crop in areas affected by climate change.
Breadfruit is a great source of nutrition, has a number of different uses, and is fairly easy to find. Its remarkable qualities go far beyond the dinner table and make it a great crop choice to help battle world hunger, deforestation and climate change.