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Breadfruit is a savory, starchy fruit with a bready, potato-like flavor to match! Also known by its botanical name, Artocarpus altilis, breadfruit is a satisfying staple ingredient in tropical cuisines throughout the world. Word around FruitStand is that once you try breadfruit, you’ll never know what you did without it!
Between the size of a cantaloupe and a football, breadfruits are covered in bumpy skin that’s reminiscent of a jackfruit. A ripe breadfruit will mature from bright green and very bumpy into yellowish color with a more relaxed, smooth peel. Inside, the ripe flesh is white to pale yellow. Fans of breadfruit know that they reach peak flavor and texture when fully ripe. A ripe breadfruit will be somewhat smooth and yellowish in color, with a weighty feeling in your hand.
Breadfruit flesh is most classically prepared by baking, boiling, steaming and frying. It has an inedible peel that’s sometimes kept intact while cooking. Not all varieties of breadfruit have seeds, but when they do, the dark, oval seeds are edible when cooked (and are particularly delicious when roasted!). Raw, unripened breadfruit is inedible and must be cooked before consuming. Once breadfruit is moderately to fully ripe, it can be consumed raw.
With it’s potato-like flavor and texture, breadfruit goes into a vast array of dishes. Breadfruit is a staple ingredient in tropical cuisines throughout the world and is most commonly used in soups, curries, meat and seafood dishes, or served cold in salads and snacks. Occasionally breadfruit is first cooked, then mixed with hearty liquids like milk made from dairy, nuts or oats for a satisfying beverage. From there, breadfruit can be enjoyed in soft drinks and cocktails.
How to prepare your breadfruit will depend on the recipe you’re using. Here are the most common ways to prepare breadfruit for all kinds of dishes.
If you’ve ever sliced a pineapple or a melon, you’ll be able to slice a breadfruit in no time! The bumpy peel is thin and is easily carved away from the firm breadfruit flesh with a sharp knife. Depending on how you slice it, breadfruit is great for snacks, salads, skewers, fries, and countless other applications.
Here are some of the easiest, most common ways of how to slice a breadfruit:
- Slice away ¼ inch from the top and bottom of the breadfruit to make flat surfaces. Stand the breadfruit upright, then, using a sharp knife, slice away the skin by cutting away vertical strips of rind around the circumference of the fruit. Then, slice the breadfruit in half longways into quarters. Finally, cut away the porous core and discard it into the compost. From there, the fruit is now ready to cut into slices or chunks.
- Slice into sticks for breadfruit fries, chunks for salads, or mashed and sauteed for a satisfying side.
Breadfruit is a staple ingredient in cuisines around the world in part for its versatility. There are countless ways to cook breadfruit into everyday meals and snacks.
- Frying: Breadfruit’s starchy flesh takes exceptionally well to frying. Don’t forget to add a little salt, pepper and spice!
- Baking: Breadfruit has a potato-like texture that’s starchy and fluffy when baked. Baked breadfruit can be used in dishes for curries, or further cooked into snacks like fried breadfruit cakes.
- Boiling: Like a potato, breadfruit gets soft and mashable when boiled
- Sauteeing: Ripe, raw breadfruit or cooked breadfruit can be sauteed to bring out it’s bready texture and natural sweetness.
- Fermentation: There are traditions, particularly throughout the Pacific, where preserving and cooking breadfruit through fermentation is very common.
When it comes to breadfruit beverages, the fruit is usually cooked, then mixed with hearty liquids like milk, cream made from dairy, nuts or oats. From there, breadfruit can be enjoyed in soft drinks and cocktails.
Here are some easy ways use breadfruit in your drinks:
- Punch: One of the most popular ways to drink breadfruit is in breadfruit punch. Recipes vary by cuisine, but involves cooking breadfruit with flavorful spices and blending or mashing it into a sweet liquid.
- Spirits: Breadfruit is distilled spirits including vodka and liqueurs.
Here are some of the most common ways to keep your breadfruit fresher for longer:
- Fresh breadfruit can be stored in a cool, dry place on the countertop for a short period of time, about two days.
- Seal breadfruit in a container in the refrigerator for up to four or five days. Some breadfruit fans prefer to submerge the whole fruits in water in the refrigerator for even longer shelf life.
- Breadfruit freezes easily, but the texture of the fruit can change. Store whole or sliced breadfruit in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months.
Do you feel like a breadfruit eating expert now? Show us your favorite ways to prepare and eat breadfruit by tagging us in your culinary masterpieces on Instagram @Fruitstandcom!