Have you ever heard of breadfruit? In Hawaii and other tropical areas, it has historically been an important staple food. In more recent times, however, the breadfruit has sort of fallen out of favor… and we aren’t really sure why! Breadfruit has a lot going for it as you are about to learn!
3 Things You Didn’t Know About Breadfruit:
1) We have a breadfruit institute in Hawaii!
Yup, this fruit you’ve never heard of actually has its very own institute here in Hawaii, and it’s housed in the National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kauai. The institute is home to 120 varieties of breadfruit, which makes it the largest breadfruit collection in the world.
2) Breadfruit can solve world hunger.
Wow, sounds lofty, doesn’t it? But don’t be surprised if breadfruit is making headlines sometime soon. Breadfruit is starchy, like a potato, and also has healthful fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and more. Better yet, it’s an amazingly sustainable crop: breadfruit trees grow just about anywhere tropical and they grow quickly and bear fruit within 3-5 years. The trees have an extremely high yield (100-600 fruits per season, wow!!) and take up less space than other starchy crops like potatoes and plantains. With 80% of the world’s hungry living in regions that can grow breadfruit trees, it just makes sense to start thinking along these lines!
3) You can make about a zillion yummy things from breadfruit.
Well, maybe not a zillion, but here are just a few of the treats you can make from breadfruit: chips, soups, dips, burgers, pies (savory or sweet!)… the list goes on and on and on. Breadfruit can also be eaten in every stage of its growth, raw or cooked, so it’s an easy snack or fun to experiment with. “But isn’t it bland?” you may be wondering. Well, yes, it is, but so are rice, potatoes, flour… think of breadfruit as a blank canvas in the kitchen!
And those are 3 Things You Didn’t Know About Breadfruit!
Next time you’re in Hawaii, enjoy a bit of ‘ulu (Hawaiian for breadfruit) and think about how amazing its versatility is and how transformational it could be for our global hunger problem. If you’d like to learn more, check out the Breadfruit Institute.
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