Bread in a nut or bread in a fruit?
Breadnut (Artocarpus camansi) is not to be mistaken for it’s relative Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis). The two food taste almost the same but look somewhat different on the inside. The outer appearance also differs in that the Breadnut has a spiky outer cover while the Breadfruit has a corrugated pattern. The taste and texture of both foods are similar to a potato. They are very filling and can be eaten alone as an entire meal.
Breadnut comes in a brown shell inside the green fruit. This nut is filled with a creamy, off white food that takes it’s flavor from the seasonings that are added during cooking. When I was growing up, salt was the only additive while cooking Breadnut but today locals are adding bay leaf, pepper and thyme among other local spices, to the nut while boiling to enhance it’s flavor.
Breadfruit is cooked as is, while the Breadnut has to be separated from the fleshy part of the fruit which is discarded. Breadfruit is usually cut into at least 6 pieces and placed into a pot of cold water and salt and left to boil until tender. Many people pound the Breadfruit into a sticky pasty finish and eat it with fish and creole gravy.
Breadnut is usually eaten straight out of the shell and has very limited modes of preparation. Meanwhile, Breadfruit can be roasted, fried (after being boiled), made into a pie or salad- it’s preparation is as versatile as that of potato.
Both Breadnut and Breadfruit are common staple foods enjoyed in Dominica and in fact most persons who travel from abroad ensure that they enjoy either of these foods if they are in season.
I do not know the reason why they both have bread in their name. Some claim they taste like bread. I beg to differ.