Breadfruit – Fruta del Pan

I have admired a beautiful tree in our neighborhood for quite some time now. A while ago, it started making some sort of fruit. I started to wonder if it was a breadfruit. A bit of research told me that yes indeed, it’s a breadfruit tree and a bit more research led me to many recipes for breadfruit. I asked my neighbor when the fruit is ready to eat, and she told me when it falls on the ground. I kept watch on it until there was fruit on the ground but what I found was a mushy mess, nothing that looked like something good to eat. So, she went with me one day and I learned it is not the fruit, but the seeds/nuts IN the fruit that are good to eat!

I don’t know if this is a different type of breadfruit, or if the recipes I found are for a less mature fruit, before the large seeds form. But, I did learn that it’s worth a trip to the breadfruit tree for the seeds! I like them. They remind me of chestnuts.

The instructions are – pick up the fruits from the ground looking for the greener, fresher ones. If the fruit is old and the seeds have turned dark brown, they won’t be good. Separate the seeds from the fruit pulp and wash them. Then, put them in the pressure cooker with water and lots and lots of salt. Cook for 30 minutes (after the cooker comes to full pressure). Cool, peel, and eat! They have a hard brown shell like a chestnut, and an inner brown skin that seems fine to eat if you want to.

Today I had an added bonus. I left the fruit pulp in my garden bucket and it was visited by an owl butterfly. I have now put the pulp on the compost pile but this very large and beautiful butterfly is still flying around here wondering where the bucket went.

There always seems to be something new and interesting around here! I am curious about the breadfruit I found on line though which appears to be a starchy fruit which can be seasoned and fried, or cooked according to a large variety of recipes.

About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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6 Responses to Breadfruit – Fruta del Pan

  1. Jerry says:

    Very interesting. Now we have to learn more about Breadfruit — All I know about it is what Fletcher Christian taught me in the movie “Mutiny on the Bounty”. I certainly would have thought it would be bread like though. Maybe there are different varieties. Please revisit this subject as you discover things about it. There are so many differences in our diet and what the Panamanians eat and they are so much more healthy things to eat in Panama. We are anxiously looking forward to experiencing them.


    • We are discovering local things that don’t get exported, which is always interesting. But as you know, the produce and food in general is cheap and excellent which is great for all of us.


  2. D. Quijote says:

    So that’s the name of that butterfly! Owl butterfly.


  3. Kris, Breadfruit is one of our favorite fruits. Anything you can do with a potato you can do with breadfruit. It’s sweeter and absolutely delicious. But, this is not a Breadfruit tree. It is similar,but it’s a Jack fruit tree. We have Jack fruit trees and Breadfruit trees on our property. Breadfruits have no seeds: they have to be started from a sprout, similar to a banana plant. Jack fruits can be planted from the seeds. Jack fruits can grow to tremendous sizes…much bigger than Breadfruit. The seeds of the Jack fruit can be ground into a nutritious flour. We made Jack fruit cookies once from the seeds. Yum. It’s so much fun exploring all the different types of fruits, isn’t it? There are so many unusual fruits on the tropics, that it’s difficult to know exactly what they are and how they can be used. Nice photos!


    • Ah ha! I knew someone could clear this up for me. Thank you so much. Now I need to find a real breadfruit tree. I saw so many recipes and I’d like to try it. Yes, I love exploring the different fruits, foods, trees, all the new things here.


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