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Video: Breadfruit - Artocarpus Altilis
The breadfruit is the breadwinner for the tropical regions of Southeast Asia and Polynesia
The breadfruit is a monoecious plant belonging to the genus Artocarpus J., of the mulberry family (Moraceae). There are 40 known species of this genus, but the most common are bradfruit, jackfruit and champedak.
These trees grow and bear fruit in hot countries, mainly in the tropical regions of Southeast Asia, Polynesia, on the islands of Oceania. The trees reach a height of 25-35 m and are distinguished by their longevity. Female inflorescences appear directly on the trunk, sometimes at the very surface of the soil or even under it and on skeletal branches. This phenomenon is called caulifloria and is noted in a number of tropical plants.
The breadfruit is the most generous of the fruitful trees: one specimen of this species can produce up to 800 or more fruits per season. The fruits ripen on the tree sequentially from bottom to top from November to April-August. In bradfruit, they are spherical, 15-30 cm in diameter, weighing up to 3 kg. The fruits are not eaten raw: they are boiled, fried, and many dishes are prepared from them that taste like potatoes.
In jackfruit, fruits are unusually large, weighing up to 50 kg, appear directly on trunks, skeletal branches or on the ground. They are consumed fresh and for the preparation of various dishes with rice, sugar, coconut milk. Unripe fruits are used as vegetables. The fruits contain a lot of latex, so in order to prevent them from sticking to the hands during processing, the hands are greased with sesame or other vegetable oil.
The breadfruit is considered the food of the poor. Jackfruit is considered a promising fruit due to its wide range of applications in the processing of canned food such as compotes, juices with pulp, syrups, jams, jellies, sweets, sweet and sour marinades, and dried products such as potato chips. The peel remaining after peeling the fruit goes to feed the livestock, the seeds are eaten after boiling, roasting and aging in sugar syrup. Seedless forms of the plant are of the greatest economic importance.
Why are these trees called bread trees? The fact is that from ripe fruits, for example jackfruit, you can make a dough that, after baking, tastes very much like the crumb of baked bread mixed with potatoes. And this dough is prepared like this: the fruits removed during harvesting are pierced with the end of a sharp stick. During the night they begin to roam. In the morning, peel off the sour fruits and place them in specially prepared pits, the walls of which are lined with stones and banana leaves. Then they are tamped, covered with leaves and stones on top. When the leaven works, a portion is taken out of the pit, placed in a wooden trough, water is added and the dough is kneaded. Add coconut milk to the dough and crush it with your fingers. The finished dough is wrapped in leaves and placed in the oven.
A very beneficial effect on human health of the product obtained from such baking has been noticed. This is probably due to the high content of vitamins B and E. The invention of such bread, obviously, belongs to the inhabitants of Oceania. The diaries of ancient sailors describe the nutritional and anti-scurvy properties of breadfruit. It is known that the inhabitants of Oceania used the bast part of the trunks of three-year-old trees for the manufacture of fabrics, the axis of the male inflorescence was used as tinder, and when cooking milky juice with coconut oil, glue was obtained, breadfruit wood was used for construction needs.
Today, tree bark latex is used to repair ceramic dishes. Breadfruit wood is used to make furniture and musical instruments. These trees are often used as substitutes for coffee and other crops. The breadfruit as a species is a relic. Its domestication dates back to ancient times. In 1792, La Billardier, during an expedition in search of La Perouse, loaded several young specimens of breadfruit on a ship for a plant garden in Paris. In the same year, the breadfruit was transported to Jamaica.
Breadfruit does not have any problematic pests, but in tropical humid climates, trees are sometimes damaged by various sawfly species. To combat them, trees are sprayed with Bordeaux mixture during the fruiting period.