Breadfruit (other names: ‘ulu)
Artocarpus altilis (Moraceae family)
Origin: New Guinea and the Philippines
Fruiting season: June – October
Height: large tree (40 – 80 ft)
Relatives: jackfruit, mulberry
Breadfruit is the mulberry family and is one of the highest yielding food plants. It is a staple food in the South Pacific and other tropical areas. In the Hawaiian poi, the traditional ingredient of mashed taro root can be replaced by mashed breadfruit (poi ‘ulu). The name is derived from the texture of the moderately ripe fruit, which, when cooked, is similar to freshly baked bread.
The tree has beautiful large leaves with deep lobes. Breadfruit trees are easy to grow, producing an abundance of nutritious, tasty fruit and providing food security. They also provide construction materials, medicine, fabric, glue, insect repellent, animal feed, and more.
The fruits vary in shape, size, and skin texture, depending on the variety. The thin skin can be smooth or rough, green or yellow, to yellow-brown. The flesh is creamy white to pale yellow and can be eaten raw or roasted, baked, boiled, fried, or dried and ground into flour. The fruit is an energy-rich food and an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals.