The fruit looks like a melon with thin, rough skin. The skin is lime-green at first; as the fruit ripens, it turns yellowish with some brown spots and exudes small drops of latex. When the skin is green, the flesh inside is hard, white and fibrous. When it has turned yellowish, the fruit inside is soft, and cream-coloured. A Bread Fruit can weigh up to 10 pounds, but averages 2 to 5 pounds (up to 4.5kg, average of 1 to 2 kg.)
There are two main types of Bread Fruit: one with seeds and one without. French and Spanish actually have many different names for them, which all vary depending on whether you are referring to a seedless type or not. The seedless types are really seedless: they do have immature seeds. They will have a core that is sometimes covered with hairs. The seedless are more widely grown than the seed types. These seedless types are propagated by transplanting suckers that grow out from the roots.
Bread Fruit is a fruit, as its name would indicate, but it is always cooked, and eaten as a vegetable. It can be harvested and cooked in various states of ripeness. When unripe, with fully green skin, it will be starchy and treated like a potato, in that it can be boiled or roasted.
When it is partially-ripe, it will be treated as plantain is. When fully ripe, it will be less starchy and much sweeter. It can be baked or steamed and used as a vegetable or to make a sweet dessert from.
A Bread Fruit should feel heavy for its size, but not spongy.
To peel, use a knife and remove all the skin so that just the white flesh remains. Cut into quarters from top to bottom. If it is a seeded variety, you scan scoop those out as you would for a squash. You’ll see a dark cord; remove and discard that. Pare off skin, boil in water.
To roast, don’t quarter and don’t peel. Oil the skin, bake a 2 to 3 pound one (1 kg) for 1 1/2 to 2 hours in a 350 F oven (175 C). It will be soft like a baked potato when done.
When frying, discard the core.
The latex is very sticky and really stains things.
They don’t store well at home.
Bread Fruit is probably native to the lower Pacific islands. Europeans first encountered the fruit around the start of the 17th century. They brought it to the West Indies to provide food for slaves. Both types were brought, seeded and seedless. In 1789, Captain Bligh was transporting breadfruit trees from Tahiti to the Caribbean when his crew rebelled. Not only was he put ashore, but they pitched the trees overboard, too.
In any event, after that, it turned out that the slaves refused to eat it. Only years later did people in the Caribbean start to eat it. One of the original trees still grows in the Botanic Gardens in St Vincent.
the starchiness of the underripe fruits feels and tastes like bread to some