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A Gift from the Tropics: BreadFruit or Fruta de Pan edit

This beautiful cannonball shaped fruit with the bland taste and versatile use of a potato is deliciously included in this recipe to prepare crab rolls with a twist! To make it even more delectable, serve it with a colorful guacamole salad.


But, first, lets go through some very interesting facts to uncover the beauty and wonders of this unique food from the tropics:

When the crew of the H.M.S. Bounty mutinied in the South Pacific, it was carrying "breadfruit". Captain Bligh’s goal had been to transport the seedlings from Tahiti to the Caribbean, so that natives there would have a substantial source of food.

Breadfruit seeds, leaves, and blossoms are also eaten. The seeds have a pleasant nutty flavor. Only very young leaves may be eaten. If the blossoms are picked when just ripe, before they are brown and hard, they may be eaten also.

Traditional methods of preparing breadfruit include baking in ground ovens or roasting over hot coals. It may be fermented by burying it in layers between leaves. The fermented breadfruit is removed from the pit, mixed with coconut cream, and baked into a sour bread.

Today, it can be prepared by traditional methods, or baked, steamed, or fried. The fruit is pricked with a fork before baking or roasting it, so that it does not explode. Bake it in a moderate oven (180°C or 350°F) until soft, about 1½ hours. When steaming or boiling breadfruit, peel it first. Mature grated breadfruit may be used instead of wheat flour in some recipes.

All varieties can be divided into two classes:


The seedy types are the normal and these are used for their seeds, which resemble chestnuts. The seedless varieties, preferred as a food, are all mutant forms.

The fruits of seedy varieties fall when ripe and soft. They should be picked up promptly to avoid spoilage, and then removed from the pulp by hand. The seeds are used immediately or are superficially dried to hold for a few days. The most common techniques is to boil the seeds for about an hour with salt, then…after cooled they are peeled by hand. They may be eaten directly, mashed and combined with other foods, and can also be used as nuts when baking.

The fruits of seedless varieties will not fall until ripe, and in doing so mash themselves into a useless and dirty pulp! Since their useful life is short (one week aprox.), the fruits are normally harvested as needed for eating or selling fresh. They can be harvested at any stage. In fact, the male and female flower buds are often taken as a cooked vegetable.

A practical technique to cook this fruit is to cut it up into pieces, about the same size as those of boiled potatoes. They are often peeled but it is not really necessary to do so. The hard and more fibrous core is usually discarded. The pieces are baked until soft and then used just as a potato. Alternatively the partially cooked piece may be cut in slices and fried. The cooked and mashed breadfruit can be used to prepare baked goods in partial substitution for flour.

To prepare Breadfruit Flour: pound or grind dried breadfruit. Sift and repeat the process until all the flour is sifted. Store the flour in an airtight jar. It can be used instead of wheat flour in many recipes.

To dry Breadfruit: this process is usually done by the sun or in a very slow oven (50°C or 120°F). Wash mature breadfruit and cut it into pieces. Peel and core it. Slice very thinly, place on racks, and put in the sun to dry. When well dried, wrap in plastic bags or leaves so as to keep out moisture. Dried breadfruit is an excellent addition to soups and stews.

Another way of drying breadfruit is to cook it first and then mash it into paste. Dry the paste in the sun and store in airtight containers.

Now, the Yummy recipe!

Breadfruit & Crab Rolls served with Guacamole Salad

Serves 4-6


  • 1lb (16 oz) crab meat
  • 1/2 lb (8 oz) cooked breadfruit
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 cup yellow bell peppers, chopped
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime or lemon peel, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter


  1. Wash and cut breadfruit into 8 slices, peel and core. Cook in boiling, salted water, just until soft. Drain the water and let cool.
  2. Heat pan and sautee the shallots, peppers, thyme and basil leaves until tender. Add crab meat, and grated lime peel. Combine well and remove from stove. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Mash breadfruit, then stir in the egg, lime juice and 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Form into a smooth dough and let stand 5 minutes
  4. Roll dough into balls then pat out into flat circles and place a spoon full of crab mixture in the center of dough and fold in half to cover the filling. Pinch edges to seal and place in greased baking pan. Brush with little butter and BAKE in a pre-heated 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) until golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven and serve on a bed of mixed salad greens and Guacamole Salad.
  6. To make the guacamole salad: combine chopped tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, cilantro, little garlic and ripe avocado. Season to taste with lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve in a tomato cup made by scooping out the meat of a tomato.

    Buen Provecho!

Buen Provecho!
Chef Melissa

  • by Chef Melissa
  • February 28, 2012
  • 4:11 am


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