A Brief Look at The Breadfruit

29 Jun 2015
Breadfruit is a widely used staple food here in Trinidad and Tobago, and the wider Caribbean region. Read on to find out its uses and the benefits of its consumption.
breadfruit in tree

For all you Trinbagonian foodies like me, this article is going to be super interesting. Yes, you have understood the title correctly; we have dedicated this entire article to the Breadfruit.

The Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis Parkinson Fosberg) is a large prickly pod, which is green on the outside, white on the inside and packed with nutritional benefits.  Many Caribbean nationals may notice that they have one or two Breadfruit trees growing in their backyard, without any type of care or maintenance. This is because Breadfruit tends to thrive in harsh conditions and basically needs no attention to flourish. Most Breadfruit types produce a small number of fruits throughout the year, so Breadfruit is basically always available.

The main use of Breadfruit throughout the Caribbean is as a staple food. We usually boil, fry or my favourite, roast it before we consume it. We use Breadfruit to make all types of yummy dishes; Breadfruit and salt fish, Breadfruit pie, Breadfruit salad, we even include it our famous oil-down.

The taste of fairly ripe breadfruit is much like that of bread that was just taken out of the oven. However, very ripe breadfruit is actually quite sweet, this is because the starch present is converted to sugar, so if you have any chronic health problems like diabetes, then you may want to watch your ripe Breadfruit intake. Breadfruit is overall very nourishing. It is a good source of potassium, copper, iron,magnesium, vitamin C and phosphorus.

Eating breadfruit can also help with colon health because it is very rich is fiber and acts as a natural laxative. In addition to being a natural laxative it is a good source of anti-oxidants, so you can have glowing skin and hair just from eating some delicious Breadfruit dishes.  

Home & Garden Caribbean Lifehack:
breadfruit skin close up

It has been found that Breadfruit flowers actually contain three chemicals; capric acid, undecanoic acid and lauric acid, which work to repel flying insects, and that includes pesky mosquitoes.  The Breadfruit flowers have been proven to be more effective than DEET, in keeping away biting insects. We here in the Caribbean are lucky enough to have breadfruit regularly available, using the flowers can actually be a low-cost alternative to expensive insect repellents.