Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis)
Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) is a tree and fruit native to the Malay Peninsula and western Pacific islands. It has also been widely planted in tropical regions elsewhere. Large, bowling ball sized fruit, usually yellow-green in color, with hard, starchy white flesh. Fruit is either eaten fresh cooked (usually baked or boiled) and served hot, or eaten unripe as a vegetable. The breadfruit is one of the most important food crops for southeast Asia and the Pacific islands, with cultivation dating back hundreds of years.
How to grow
The breadfruit is ultra-tropical and will not survive temperatures below 40F. It will not succeed outdoors anywhere in the continental United States except for sheltered locations in extreme South Florida and the Keys. Growth stops and trees decline when temperatures drop below 60F or above 95F. Trees need lots of water, high humidity and deep, well-drained soil.
Uses: Fresh fruits are baked or boiled and served with garnishes. Breadfruits are also used in making myriad other dishes, from soup, to chowder, to custards and even bread. Unripe fruits are roasted or pickled and used as vegetables. Seeds from the seeded form (the breadnut) are roasted and eaten.