The fruit is large, weighing between 2 1/2 pounds (1.2 kg) and 30 pounds (14 kg), with an average weight of 13 pounds (6 kg.) One variety of the fruit has a spiny skin, the other has a smooth skin. The spiny type has larger seeds; some of the smooth skinned varieties are actually seedless.
This fruit is sometimes called African Breadfruit, though it is unrelated to actual breadfruit, because it can be boiled and eaten as a starch, as breadfruit can be. Most people, though, prefer actual breadfruit to this one, and sometimes the fruit is just given to animals as feed.
What is more prized are the seeds inside the fruit, which are often referred to as nuts. One fruit can have hundreds of them inside. The seeds have to be cooked first, by boiling, frying or roasting, before being eaten. After cooking, they can be dried, and made into a flour. Or, they can be used for a porridge (called “aho-ukwa” in Nigeria.) Food scientists feel that the seed has potential for use as a source of breakfast cereals and infant foods.
If you see “Ukwa Roasted”, that’s referring to roasted seeds from the fruit.
The raw leaves can be treated like spinach.
The seeds are 17% protein, 10% oil, 40% carbohydrate.