Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Doesn't taste like fruit to me!

Jamaica has some really good cuisine, ya know...jerk pork, well jerk anything is good. Rice and peas that are not peas at all, but rather kidney beans. Easter bun with cheese. Pumpkin soup and festivals.Escovietch fish, ackee and saltfish. Pattys and yam, boiled or mashed,I like it anyway it comes. Rock buns and guava jelly. Well the list goes on and on! Jamaica has some really good food. It also has great fruits, papaya, pineapple, mangoes and coconuts. Grapefruit and guava, bananas and lots of em. Lychee and cherries. Naseberries and otaheite apples. Star apples and sour sop. Watermelon, oranges and limes. Just about everything fruity!! But breadfruit....what is that?

It is said that Captain William Bligh brought breadfruit to Jamaica from Tahiti in 1793. Why you ask? To feed the slaves of course. Guess what? The slaves didn't like ,so it grew out of control and was used to feed the hogs. They eat anything. Reminds me of the commercial many years ago..give it to Mikey. Mikey will eat it! Those hogs...yup they eat anything. I have observed plenty of hogs and chickens in the back yard of the New Vision Children's Home.

Today, no breadfruit for the hogs. Some smart Jamaican said, wait a minute, let's figure out a way to make it yummy and start using the breadfruit on our table. Well, I can imagine it went something like that!

Today breadfruit is made a hundred different ways! Jamaicans roast it, bake it, boil it, steam it and make it into chips, they make it into porridge and even punch. They marinade it, pickle it and fry it, that's the way I like it! They use it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They puree it for their babies.

I'll never forget the first time I saw it. It was along side the road at a fruit stand and I couldn't get over the size. What is that? I asked. It is the size of a watermelon but certainly isn't a watermelon!



If you want the breadfruit for soup, you need to pick one that is young and light green with no brown spots.

If you want to roast one, you need to choose a dark green one. I wish I had a photo of the roasted ones. They too are really interesting, they kind of look like the brown coconuts ..only with an ashen hue to them. When I have seen them on the roadside I haven't had my camera!

Okay, so what does the breadfruit taste like if it doesn't taste like fruit? Jamaicans say it taste like doughy bread. For some reason I just can't get that taste. I think it is because I eat it with my eyes open! I taste potato maybe that is because I have eaten it fried and I imagine potato chip! Maybe I need to eat it blindfolded!

We are able to watch the breadfruit grow right here on our property. The tree is an evergreen and it can produce fruit for fifty years or more. When I see the fruit hanging down, I just wonder how in the world does it do that. They are so huge! amazing! Most breadfruit are seedless although there are many varieties with seeds.




As I have researched the breadfruit I find that it is everywhere even in Florida! It is in Key West and Vaca Key. The next time I go there I will have to see if it looks the same!



I can't end off a blog like this one without a recipe in case you have a bresheh tree in your yard! yup that is what a Jamaican would call the breadfruit, bresheh.

Porridge

1/2 medium fit bresheh
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 pints water
2 ounces sweetened condensed milk
3 ounces evaporated milk
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 ounce flour
Put water on stove and turn fire on high. In the meantime remove the skin and heart from the bresheh. Cut the vegetable, whoa, vegetable..I thought this was a fruit, into small pieces. Add pieces to a blender with a little water and puree. Add pureed ingredients to the boiling water and add salt. Boil and stir. To thicken the porridge add the flour. Add the other ingredients and sweeten to taste. Serve in a bowl with ground nutmeg.

Sounds yummy doesn't it. Come to Jamaica for some bresheh, that is if you don't live in Florida!

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