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Breadfruit
Why Eat It
Availability
Shopping
Storage
Preparation
Nutrition Chart


Why Eat It

The size of a large melon, weighing two to five pounds, breadfruit (as its name implies) is a starchy, somewhat bland food that is notable for its high carbohydrate content, which is comparable to many vegetables: A 3 1/2-ounce portion (about one-fourth of the edible part of a small fruit) contains 27 grams of carbohydrates, which contribute almost 100% of the calories. The fruit is also a good source of vitamin C.

Breadfruit has been an important staple for many years in the Pacific islands and the Caribbean. (The infamous Captain Bligh of the H.M.S. Bounty was en route to Tahiti for breadfruit trees to plant in the English colonies of St. Vincent and Jamaica when his crew mutinied.) Although it is a tree fruit covered with a scaly green rind, the starchy consistency of its pale-yellow flesh has made it better suited for eating as a vegetable. The flesh resembles that of a potato when unripe, and can be used like a potato at this stage. As breadfruit ripens slightly, it softens, and is creamier and stickier (but still starchy) when cooked. After further ripening, breadfruit turns very soft, but lacks the sweetness of lusher tropical fruits such as mangoes and papayas.

Availability

Imported from Haiti and the Dominican Republic, breadfruit can be found in grocery stores in West Indian and Caribbean neighborhoods.

Shopping

Choose a hard, firm, evenly colored specimen. If you want the fruit to reach the soft, creamy stage, ripen it at room temperature until it gives to the touch.

Storage

After ripening, you can refrigerate it for a day (but no longer) if not using it immediately.

Preparation

Breadfruit, like potatoes, can be baked in the skin, or can be peeled, cut up, and boiled. Ripe breadfruit can be made into a sweetened, baked pudding.

Nutrition Chart

Breadfruit/1 cup raw

227
Total fat (g)
0.5
Saturated fat (g)
0.1
Monounsaturated fat (g)
0.1
Polyunsaturated fat (g)
0.2
Dietary fiber (g)
11
2
Carbohydrate (g)
60
Cholesterol (mg)
0
Sodium (mg)
4
Thiamin (mg)
0.3
Vitamin C (mg)
64
Magnesium (mg)
55
Potassium (mg)
1078


Date Published: 04/20/2005
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