Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Breadfruit x 2

In a comment to the post with pictures of Sweetie playing with Fortuno, Zooms (Free Spirit) remarked that I must have breadfruit trees because of all the huge brown leaves on the grass.

Yes, I do have several breadfruit trees, of 2 varieties, seedless and seeded.

This is a seedless breadfruit

And this is a seeded one

And both varieties have those huge, elaborate leaves, that turn rather ugly brown as soon as they fall down, sometimes even before they fall down, but they richly contribute to my organic compost pile.

These are the leaves of a seedless breadfruit.

And these are the leaves of a seeded one.

I admit that by looking at the trees I can't see the difference between them (though I can see the difference between their fruits, when ripened) but my more experienced in ethno botany friends can, and they tell me that the fruit of the seedless variety needs to be picked BEFORE the fruit falls down, because, when falling it would splash all around the ground and make an unpalatable mess. So I have been privy to observing a few attempts at harvesting the ripe enough fruit straight from the tree. It usually involves a long and straight tree branch with a knife inserted at the top of it. The knife is then attempted to be inserted in the fruit and the fruit swiftly jerked from the tree. Sneaky!

Ursula (the owner of the casita and all the fruits) and Magha (en ethno botanist) plan a strategy to pick a seedless breadfruit on a high branch.

Then you can make tostones from the breadfruit. Some, like Andres, swear, they taste better that tostones made from plantains, but to me they taste equally good, just different: a bit drier, a bit crispier, with a hint of taste of fried potatoes. Andres's mother cooks breadfruit among other starchy veggies for her chicken sopon. And i am sure there are tons of other uses of breadfruit that I haven't yet experienced.

The seeded variety, on the other hand, you not only let fall down to the ground, but let lie down for about two days and then pick the seeds, who look and taste (after being boiled with salt and onion) like chestnuts.
These breadfruit seeds not only have been left out for too long, they also had a misfortune of being driven over by Andres's jeep. So they are not fit for human consumption. But you can see what the seeds look like.

P.S. I call breadfruit fruit, (or fruta in Spanish) but my neighbors in the barrio Los Vegas call it - in Spanish - verdura = vegetable.


Speaking Boricua said...

Yum I love pana!!

zooms said...

The ones with the seeds are called 'breadnut' here and do indeed taste like chestnuts, thanks for the link Minerva, I like how your rainforest home is looking.

Minerva said...

Breadnut sounds like an excellent name - avoiding all confusion. Wander why nobody here seems to use it.