• Spherical, green fruit.
  • Hard, seedless flesh when not ripe up to 200mm in diameter.
  • Weighs up to 4kg when ripe, flesh is soft, sweet and yellow.
  • Some varieties have seeds.

The tree has large, deeply lobed, dark green leaves, which provide some shade. Mature trees grow to a height of 8-20m depending upon locality.

Breadfruit is traditionally baked in ground ovens or roasted over hot coals. It is also rather nice when cooked the same way as potatoes, boiled and mashed with milk and butter. Breadfruit chips are very popular. Other uses include bread, puddings and for pie making.

The fruit tends to become somewhat gluey if boiled or cooked in a microwave oven for 5 minutes. The palatability of breadfruit like that of other starchy foods is much improved by the addition of fats.

Trees grow best in damp, hot, tropical lowlands. They are a tropical species and are very cold sensitive, not tolerating frost of any description. Young trees benefit from protection from the hot sun until they are established, however after this they prefer full sunshine. Breadfruit will grow on a wide variety of soils providing that they are deep and well drained. Flowering takes place from August through to December.

The breadfruit is believed to have originated in South-East Asia where a wild species has probably given rise to the domesticated species more commonly grown today. Breadfruit and other plants such as taro and sweet potato are important starch staples for various tropical regions.

Breadfruit evolved in Indonesia’s Sunda Archipelago and became the staple diet for islanders throughout the tropical Pacific Islands. The breadfruit and breadnut are one species. The breadfruit originated by chance as a seedless breadnut, and is perpetuated from root-cuttings.

To Polynesians, breadfruit and bananas were vitally important. The threat of cyclones, droughts, and the total destruction of crops by enemies were a constant danger to their existence. Total destruction of crops was the second greatest victory over one’s enemies in Polynesian society; the greatest was to obtain the foe’s “mana”, by eating him.

Botanical Name: Artocsarpus altilis (Moraceae)

Alternative Names: Sukun

Health Benefits

Good source of fibre and vitamin C. Like potatoes and bananas, breadfruit is rich in starch and is therefore an excellent staple.

100g of Breadfruit yields the following:

  • Calories –103
  • Total Carbs – 9% of DV
  • Protein – 1.07g
  • Dietary Fibre – 20% of DV
  • Vitamin C – 48% of DV
  • Calcium – 2% of DV
  • Iron – 3% of DV

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Selecting tips

Select firm, well formed, medium to large fruit with green skin if wanting to use as a cooked vegetable otherwise allow to ripen, i.e. skin colour should be yellow-green and the fruit should yield slightly to gentle pressure.

Storage: Ripen at room temperature and store in the refrigerator crisper for a short time.

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