Breadfruit is a fascinating fruit that has come to the spotlight in recent years as a versatile and delicious food item. If you’re planning on trying breadfruit or just curious about what it looks like, keep reading. We’ve got all the information you need here.
What is Breadfruit?
Breadfruit is a tropical fruit native to the Pacific Islands and is a member of the mulberry family. The fruit is oval-shaped and can be as small as a grapefruit or as large as a basketball.
Breadfruit is a starchy fruit and is consumed as a staple food in many Pacific Island cultures like Samoa and Hawaii. The fruit is also gaining popularity in the Western world as a gluten-free alternative to grains like wheat.
What Does Breadfruit Look Like?
Size and Shape
Breadfruit is oval-shaped and can be anywhere between 4-12 inches long and 3-6 inches wide. The fruit can weigh anywhere from 1-10 pounds, with some varieties even growing up to 12-15 pounds. A mature breadfruit will be firm to the touch, but not too hard.
The exterior of breadfruit is covered in a rough, spiky skin that can vary in texture depending on the variety. Some breadfruits have a bumpy, textured skin, while others have a smoother skin. The color of the breadfruit’s skin varies widely depending on the stage of ripeness, ranging from green to yellow to brown.
When you cut open a breadfruit, you’ll see a white, starchy flesh that is similar in texture to a potato. The fruit has a core in the center, where the seeds are located, which is not edible. Some breadfruit varieties have fewer seeds and a thicker flesh, making them more desirable for cooking.
A ripe breadfruit will have a sweet aroma, and the flesh will be creamy, with a texture that has a slight resistance to it. Underripe breadfruit is very starchy and not very sweet, while overripe breadfruit is mushy and has an unpleasant odor.
Breadfruit is a highly nutritious tropical fruit that is packed with vitamins and minerals. The fruit is high in complex carbohydrates and fiber, making it a good source of energy. It is also rich in vitamins like Vitamin C, Vitamin B, and minerals like potassium and calcium.
Breadfruit is also low in fat and calories, making it a great choice for anyone looking to maintain a healthy diet.
How to Eat Breadfruit
Breadfruit can be cooked in a variety of ways, depending on the desired texture and flavor. The most common methods of cooking breadfruit are boiling, baking, frying, and grilling.
When boiling breadfruit, be sure to add salt to the water and simmer until the fruit is tender. Baked breadfruit can be cut into wedges and roasted in the oven until golden brown. Fried breadfruit is a popular option, and can be made by slicing the fruit thinly and frying it in oil until golden brown.
Breadfruit can also be grilled, adding a charred flavor to the fruit. Grilled breadfruit is often served as a side dish or alongside other grilled meats and vegetables.
Breadfruit can be used in a variety of dishes, both savory and sweet. Some popular breadfruit dishes include breadfruit chips, breadfruit salad, breadfruit curry, and breadfruit pancakes.
One delicious recipe to try is breadfruit fries. To make breadfruit fries, cut the breadfruit into fry-shaped pieces and fry them until golden brown. Season with salt and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
Where to Buy Breadfruit
Breadfruit can be found in many tropical areas, but it can also be found in some grocery stores and specialty markets in the Western world. If you’re looking for fresh breadfruit, try checking out your local farmers’ market or specialty Asian or Caribbean grocery stores.
Breadfruit is a versatile and delicious tropical fruit that is packed with nutrients. Whether you’re interested in trying it for the first time or looking for new recipes, breadfruit is a great addition to any kitchen.
Common Questions about Breadfruit
- What does breadfruit taste like?
Breadfruit has a neutral taste when underripe, but when mature, it has a sweet, creamy flavor that is similar to a potato.
- How do you know when breadfruit is ripe?
A ripe breadfruit has skin that is yellow or brown, a sweet aroma, and flesh that is creamy and slightly resistant to the touch.
- Can you eat raw breadfruit?
Breadfruit is generally consumed cooked. When raw, breadfruit is very starchy and not very sweet.
- Is breadfruit gluten-free?
Yes, breadfruit is a gluten-free alternative to grains like wheat.
- Is breadfruit high in calories?
No, breadfruit is low in calories, making it a great choice for healthy eating.
- Ferreira, A. R., Carmo, M. G. T., and Braga, J. M. 2017. Breadfruit Market Evolution in the United States: A Retailers’ Perspective. Horticulturae, 3(3), 49.
- Williamson, J. 2015. Tropical Trees of the Pacific. Createspace Independent Publishing Platform.
- “Breadfruit.” Hawaii State Department of Agriculture, state.hi.us/dlnr/dofaw/pubs/Breadfruit.FS_.pdf