Breadfruit: History, Pictures, and Recipes

cooking breadfruit

Breadfruit: From Tree to Plate

I’ve been postponing writing a new blog for so long. On one hand, life tends to get in the way. On the other, I wasn’t quite sure what to blog about. But the other way, while grocery shopping (I know, nothing fancy, but we have to do it, want it or not), I discovered that ShopRite had breadfruits. (Imagine that! Who knew?) And so, I bought one.

These fruits brought my attention because several (too many) years ago, I got to see the breadfruit in the breadfruit tree, while touring the Allerton Gardens, which are part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii. Our guide pointed his cane at the breadfruit, telling the story of this amazing fruit.

As the story goes, (ancestors of) the Polynesians, had been at sea for a very extended period of time. Tired and famished, they finally came to see land–what we, today, know as the islands of Hawaii. These amazing islands also offered food, and good, nutritious food at that. It was on the Hawaii islands that these sailors found the breadfruit, which is extremely nutritious, and which can be cooked and prepared in many ways. Hence, the breadfruit kept them from starving to death.

Allerton Gardens, Hawaii, breadfruit tree
Guide by the breadfruit tree. National Tropical Botanical Garden–Allerton Garden. Photo by Alina Oswald.

At home, yesterday, I tried the breadfruit–raw and cooked. It has the consistency of a sponge, and a taste similar to that of a potato. And it’s very filling. As for preparation and recipes, I think the sky is the limit. Just be creative and bring out the artist in you. There are salad recipes, humus, and many others. I opted to cook it in the pan, together with tomatoes and garlic…and others. And I think it tastes pretty good, too.

So, here’s how I prepared it, with pictures:

cooking breadfruit
Sliced breadfruit. Photo by Alina Oswald.

* peel the skin; washed the breadfruit after you peel it

* slice the breadfruit in half (I had to do that, to take a few pictures, too)

* cut out the core and chop the rest of the breadfruit (play with it, too, it’s like a sponge, with many, many tiny holes in it)

* splash some avocado oil (guess olive oil would work, too) in a skillet

cooking breadfruit
sliced breadfruit. photo by Alina Oswald.

* throw in some chopped garlic, and also chopped tomatoes, and then the chopped breadfruit

* sprinkle some spices (I do not use salt, personally, but salt and pepper guess would do), including parsley (found out that cilantro is recommended, but couldn’t find it, so I used what I had handy, which was parsley)

* bring it to a boil, and then stir and let it simmer on low (I tried it after 15 min, and then gave it a bit more time, but not more than 30 min all in all; poke it with a wooden spoon to see if it’s soft enough, you’ll be able to tell)

a closer look: a slice of breadfruit
a closer look: a slice of breadfruit. photo by Alina Oswald

Yes, this recipe is quite trial-and-error, but it came out pretty good, especially for first-timer like myself.

So, with all this breadfruit slicing, “since sliced bread” suddenly became “since sliced breadfruit.”

Thanks for stopping by! And especially if you decide to prepare breadfruit, I’d love to hear from you.

Happy breadfruit cooking, and Happy Hawaii!

breadfruit in the skillet
cooking breadfruit. photo by Alina Oswald.
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