Breadfruit. Not bread. May be fruit. But not fruity
This post is the first in a series of three: Big odd green things I found at the grocery store this week.
Big odd green thing #1: Breadfruit. You know you’ve heard of it, but you don’t know why. Now I’ve eaten it, but I still don’t know why I’ve heard of it.
It’s closely related to the jackfruit. Oh, now that helps us North Americans of European heritage now, doesn’t it?
It’s carby and fibre-y. It helps avoid uptake of glucose, so while I was feeling down about how it was carby, it cheered me up to know that it might help with my current addiction to this
(Dark chocolate with sea salt will put us in the poor house, mark my words. Own line item in the budget, unbeknownst to my husband.)
Other notable observations, dramatized because I don’t actually have much to say about my breadfruit experience:
1. Breadfruit looks quite like a mini basketball that mated with an alligator
2. Breadfruit is supposed to smell like bread. Mine didn’t, but I haven’t been known to have the best sniffer. If you’re going to lose a sense to old age, smell ain’t a terrible one to sacrifice, just saying. Although not having one can make bottom-of-shoe incidents far more embarrassing than they need to be
3. Breadfruit is similar to jackfruit. Oh crap, I already said that
4. Breadfruit is used much like a potato, and they taste kind of similar (to someone with limited sense of smell, at least)
5. The domain “breadfruit.com” seems to be for sale, in case you might want to capitalize on its many marketable features (see points #1-4, above)
Here’s what I did with it, per the advice of the radical carib writer:
Breadfruit Shrimp Cakes with Pesto (Makes 8)
- 1/2 breadfruit and lump of butter
- 1 small onion, diced fine
- 1 cup shrimp, peeled and chopped (not too fine)
- 2 scallions
- 2C breadcrumbs
- 1 egg, whisked
- Salt & pepper
- Favourite drippy pesto (pine nuts, fresh basil, parsley, parm, garlic, lots of olive oil)
Directions: Prepare breadfruit by cutting it in half, peeling it with a knife, cutting out the core, and then cutting it into hunks.
Steam the breadfruit until soft, but not mushy. Add butter and mash. I tried to mash it with a potato masher but it was stringy and got stuck to my masher, so I used a food processor which worked, but did leave it kind of gummy. Do what you need to do.
Mix scallions, onion, and shrimp in a bowl
Add mashed breadfruit and mix with hands until well incorporated. Form patties and heat up your fav cast-iron pan with some oil. Dip the patties in egg and then breadcrumbs. Fry your patties.
Make or buy your pesto. Prepare for the wrath of your husband when he returns from work to find a well-used kitchen
Console your son after the trauma of losing Han Solo under the fridge, and help retrieve Han if possible
Serve your patties over greens, and pour pesto over (last step made photo ugly, so this is just prior)
Results: Breadfruit might be boring to describe, but it ain’t half bad! It reminds me of a bland potato banana — terribly filling, and able to support other, more ka-pow-type pairings. The shrimp cakes were comforting and creamy. Next time I might add even more shrimp. Rating: 4 Yums. Why go with tired old potatoes when you can eat an alliga-to-nana?
And on a sad note, we said goodbye to my long-time furry sidekick Rudy this week. He was a fixture in my home for 17 years, and I’ll miss him terribly. He should be purring here beside me as I type as he always has been, but he’s not, and it feels awfully lonely. My snap decision where I said, “Sure, I guess I’ll take a kitten,” and hiding him in my laundry basket when they came to inspect my dorm room all those years ago was a very good one. Love you always, buddy.