Ever wondered what breadfruit tastes like? If so, you’re in the right place.
This article dives into the flavor, texture, and health benefits of breadfruit.
Don’t let your curiosity go unsatisfied – find out all you need to know about this tropical fruit.
What is Breadfruit?
Breadfruit, also known as “Artocarpus altilis”, is a tropical fruit native the Pacific Ocean.
The fruit has a round or oval shape and can range in size from three to twelve inches in diameter.
It is closely related to the Jackfruit and has a light yellow to green skin, which may be smooth or have bumps or indentations.
The flesh of the Breadfruit is white when immature and yellow with black seeds when ripe.
While each variety of Breadfruit will vary in flavor and texture, as it ripens it generally acquires a creamy consistency with sweet, mellow notes of coconut, banana and other fruits such as pineapple or figs.
Its taste is often described as unique due to its starchiness which makes it slightly chewy somewhat like a potato when cooked.
What Does Breadfruit Taste Like?
Breadfruit is a unique and fibrous fruit with a wide array of culinary uses.
While it is popular in many tropical areas and is an important export commodity around the world, it can be difficult to describe how it tastes to those who have never had the opportunity to try it.
In general, breadfruit has a mild flavor similar to potatoes, though its texture can vary depending on how ripe it is.
Breadfruit’s flavor profile is both sweet and earthy, combining nutty undertones with floral top notes.
When cooked, its flesh becomes light and fluffy like mashed potatoes, with a slight graininess that gives it extra texture.
It has a delicate taste that shares some similarities with squash or artichoke hearts, but the sweetness of the fruit tends to stand out more when cooked than other vegetal flavors in the background.
The flavor of ripe breadfruit may also have subtle hints of coconut or pineapple when fresh from the tree.
Breadfruit’s texture varies depending on ripeness level–unripe specimens will be rock hard and slightly astringent; lightly ripe fruit will still remain firm but yield slightly when you press your finger into its skin; fully ripe breadfruits will be soft like a pear or apple when they are ready for use in cooking.
No matter which state you find your fruit in, you’ll undoubtedly notice its waxy skin covering a dry flesh that takes well to roasting, boiling and steaming methods alike.
Texture and Flavor of Breadfruit
Breadfruit is a large, round fruit with a texture similar to that of fresh bread.
Its flavor is subtly sweet and nutty, with an underlying tropical aroma.
The skin of a ripe breadfruit is slightly yellowish-green in color and very thin and smooth.
The fruit must be cut to expose its soft white flesh that’s dense with starchy grains.
The texture of the ripe fruit has a soft, spongy quality that can absorb flavorings easily – making it popular in preparations such as soups, curries and salads.
When cooked, the starchiness dissipates leaving behind a creamy texture with slightly grainy bits.
In terms of flavor, not all yield the same amount of sweetness or nuttiness.
Depending on the variety, freshly cooked breadfruit will typically vary from light to medium in sweetness and may even offer notes of butterscotch or coconut depending on how ripe it was when harvested.
Breadfruit requires careful preparation before eating as unripe fruits can cause irritation if eaten raw.
Cooking helps mellow out the slight astringency of unripe fruits while also giving it an agreeable tenderness that some find comparable to potatoes or yams.
Only sufficiently ripe fruits should be eaten raw as it can cause tummy issues otherwise.
1 – Ripe Breadfruit
Ripe breadfruit has a texture and taste like a potato or a plantain.
Its flavor is slightly sweet with a starchy taste, making it the perfect accompaniment for savory dishes.
When ripe, breadfruit is yellow on the inside and can be boiled, fried or baked.
It can be used in soups, salads or as an ingredient in various sweet desserts.
The fruit’s exterior green color turns to yellow when it’s fully ripe, making it easy to spot amongst other green fruits.
2 – Unripe Breadfruit
Unripe breadfruit is often green in color with a firm, potato-like texture.
It has a mild flavor that is slightly sweet and nutty and it is sometimes described as reminiscent of potatoes, uncooked pasta, or even artichokes.
When prepared unripe breadfruit can be boiled, fried, roasted, or baked in the same way you would use potatoes.
If allowed to ripen on the tree too long the fruit will become spongy and milder in flavor as some of its unique character fades away.
Nutritional Value of Breadfruit
Breadfruit is an incredibly nutritious tropical fruit that is a rich source of energy and dietary fiber.
This unique fruit also contains healthy doses of carbohydrate, protein, vitamin C, several B vitamins (thiamine and riboflavin), zinc, manganese, magnesium, iron, potassium and phosphorus.
Its calcium content is particularly impressive for a fruit — about 30mg per 100g — making it a great option for promoting bone health.
The vitamins and minerals in breadfruit are essential for biochemical reactions in the body as well as nerve and muscle function.
Along with vital nutrients like iron and magnesium that play a role in forming strong bones and muscles, breadfruit also provides essential fatty acids like linolenic acid which helps protect against heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol levels.
1 – Vitamins and Minerals
Breadfruit is abundant in vitamins and minerals and provides a nutritious source of carbohydrates and proteins.
It contains high levels of Vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate and Vitamin B6.
Minerals found in breadfruit include iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium and zinc.
It is low in fat and sodium which makes it a popular food for those who are concerned about maintaining healthy diets.
The main health benefit of breadfruit is that it can help provide essential nutrients to people who do not have access to other sources of protein or vitamin-rich foods.
In terms of taste, breadfruit has a mild flavor with a slight sweet taste reminiscent of caramel or sweet potatoes.
It has a grainy texture similar to that of a potato or chestnut and reheats well after cooking.
Depending on its ripeness when bought or harvested, the fruit can range from slightly firm to soft and mushy or easily turned into paste.
Breadfruit can be consumed raw but it generally tastes best when cooked as boiling softens the slightly bitter flavor while roasting brings out the naturally sweet flavor found within the fruit’s flesh.
2 – High Fiber Content
Breadfruit has an incredibly high fiber content, making it an incredibly nutritious food source.
It is a great source of dietary fiber, providing about five times more than apples.
Because of its high dietary fiber content, breadfruit can help to slow down digestion and keep you feeling full for longer.
This makes breadfruit a wonderfully filling option for those who want to lose weight or lead a healthier lifestyle.
Dietary fiber can also cause less drastic blood sugar fluctuations and can prevent heart diseases by lowering cholesterol levels in your body.
Culinary Uses of Breadfruit
Breadfruit is a popular fruit from the tropical regions of the world, providing a wide range of culinary possibilities.
It can be used in both sweet and savory dishes due to its starchy texture when cooked and its mild flavor.
Its versatility makes it ideal for a various recipes such as soups, pies, salads, curries and desserts.
Here are some delicious culinary uses of breadfruit:
- Roasted Breadfruit – To enjoy the most traditional flavor and texture of breadfruit, roast it in the oven or over an open flame for about 45 minutes or until it’s soft enough to cut with a knife and has lightly browned on top. Serve hot with butter, salt and pepper as an accompaniment to any meal.
- Baked Breadfruit – Cut the breadfruit into cubes and bake it at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes or until golden brown on the outside and tender on the inside. Sprinkle with salt before baking for added flavor.
- Boiled Breadfruit – Place whole pieces of unpeeled breadfruit in a pot filled with water over high heat; simmer until soft enough to cut easily with a knife (around 20-40 minutes). Add flavors like garlic, ginger, thyme, bay leaf or rosemary during boiling for extra taste. Once cool enough to handle peel off the skin using your hands then mash or chop up as desired before serving as side dish or combined into other dishes like curries or stews.
- Breadfruit Fritters – Make small round fritters by grating boiled or roasted breadfruits onto a bowl mixing them with other ingredients like grated carrots, onions, curry powder and egg before frying in oil until crispy golden brown (about 5 minutes per side). Serve hot as an appetizer or snack accompanied by your favorite dipping sauce like chutney or mango gaucamole. Enjoy.
1 – Cooking Methods
Breadfruit can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.
It can be boiled, steamed, roasted, or fried like a potato.
Boiled or steamed breadfruit has a smooth and creamy texture that makes it perfect for adding to salads, soups, and stews as well as being eaten on its own.
Roasted breadfruit has a unique smoky flavor that makes it great for adding to sandwiches and wraps.
It’s also an excellent source of plant-based protein.
Fried breadfruit is popular in many tropical countries and is great for making chips, fries, and other snacks.
To enjoy the flavor of fried breadfruit at its fullest, you should fry it with a small amount of oil until it is golden brown and crispy on the outside but still soft on the inside.
2 – Breadfruit Recipes
Breadfruit is an interesting fruit with a unique flavor and several applications in various recipes.
Its flavor is mild, slightly nutty, and has hints of artichoke or potato.
It can be eaten raw; steamed, boiled, fried, barbecued, or roasted; mashed; used in chutneys, soups, and stews; made into puddings; and even substituted for potatoes.
The most common way to enjoy breadfruit is to prepare it in the same manner as potatoes – either boiled and mashed together with butter or oil, parsley and garlics – or fried into crisps – much like a chip.
For a different twist on fries try slicing the breadfruit into wedges before frying them in hot oil until golden brown.
Some Caribbean recipes even call for grilling the fruit over an open flame.
Baked breadfruit dishes are also popular around the world.
For instance, there’s a Jamaican recipe that combines smashed breadfruit with cheese to make an oven-baked snack called ‘breadfruit gratins’ or ‘bakes chips’.
You can also bake whole breadfruits by cutting them in half first so that their juices combine with either butter or olive oil before baking them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour until tender.
For those who are looking for some creative ways to use this fruit like making chilli con carne with firm diced breadfruit instead of beef cubes adding few vegetables such as celery bell peppers mushrooms onions and chili peppers.
Other than simple savory dishes like curries brunches stews casseroles incorporate this nutritious fruit can also collaborate into desserts too like pies pancakes ice creams cake batters crumbles cobblers etc.
Breadfruits are very versatile ingredient which can be incorporated very easily in any dish you want.
Where to Buy Breadfruit and How to Store It?
Breadfruit can often be found in specialty health or Caribbean food stores and occasionally in larger, mainstream supermarkets.
To prepare breadfruit for consumption, it must usually be boiled or steamed.
When selecting a breadfruit at the store, look for relatively large, firm specimens that are free from bruises and blemishes.
They can be stored at room temperature for up to two weeks.
When stored in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper, it will last for about three weeks.
Breadfruit is available fresh or canned, frozen or dried — all of which alter the texture and flavor of the fruit slightly.
Breadfruit can also be juiced and made into syrup or paste, boiled into a mash like potatoes and deep-fried like chips.
Experiment with different forms of breadfruit to find your favorite flavor profile.
In conclusion, while the flavor of this tropical fruit may not be to everyone’s liking, Breadfruit is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different ways.
Whether boiled, roasted, fried or mashed, its unique texture and subtle sweet taste make it a great addition to any meal.
With its high nutritional value and significant health benefits, Breadfruit is especially beneficial for those seeking to maintain a balanced diet.
All in all, it provides for an interesting way to enjoy its unique flavor profile.
For best results and maximum enjoyment, try experimenting with different recipes and cooking techniques to find what works best for you.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!