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Friday, November 16, 2012

Male Nuts

Breadfruits in a wheelbarrow at the Portsmouth
open air market in Dominica.

Breadfruit, imported to the Caribbean as a cheap source of food back in the days of slavery, is literally embedded in both the landscape and culture.  Breadfruit trees are handsome, often stretching 30+ feet.  Its leaves are large, lobed and glossy, fruits, bright yellow-green and pendulous.

I’ve yet to tackle cooking with breadfruit yet myself, mostly due to its large size (the length of its oval shape is often between ¾ and 1 foot and our food storage space is quite limited), long cook times and massive starchiness… Yet, it intrigues me. 

Gregory was the breadfruit nut “chef”
and like many vendors, also sold his
own rumpunch, which we did
not buy.
About 1 ½ cups of hot, freshly
boiled and salted breadfruit
nuts cost a mere $2EC, or
about 75 cents US.  They
tasted a bit like creamy chestnuts.
Yummy!
To my delight, Wayne spotted something I hadn’t heard of… breadfruit “nuts” at the Portsmouth open-air produce market.  The fruits are produced from a male breadfruit tree, only.  To cook the ripe seeds takes about 4 hours of boiling, or 1 hour with a pressure cooker.  As I don’t own a pressure cooker, I’ll happily buy breadfruit nuts someone else cooks if I’m lucky enough to find them again.