Article from the Tropical Fruit News magazine of the Miami Rare Fruit Council International
Reprinted from the November 1992 issue of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia

The Breadfruit

(who reprinted it from the Cardwell-Johnstone Branch Newsletter of February 1990)
The breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) is arguably one of the most useful of the tropical fruits in that it can be used as both a fruit and a staple vegetable, and at different stages of ripeness. Fruits in North Queensland ripen from December to April, depending on the variety. The "Mason" variety is a large fruit, coming off the tree from late January to April. This tree seems to be somewhat more cold tolerant that others.

Other named varieties are: "Noli", a well recommended, early fruiting variety (December - February)' "Cricket Ball", a good quality, small fruited one; "Rodgers", recommended by the DPI; "Somoan Gold", a small fruit, a light bearer; "Limberlost", a large fruit, but the tree is not very cold tolerant.

There are other, unnamed varieties planted in tropical Australia, yet to be assessed.

Fruits are fully mature when they take on a yellowish or brown tinge, or they bleed white sap over the skin. At this stage of maturity, the surface of the skin feels almost smooth to the tough. Immature fruits are greener and bumpier.

Breadfruit is high in carbohydrates (starch, and sugar), the starch converting to sugar as the fruit ripens. The firm, dryish flesh ripens in stages to a soft, creamy texture. Then the sweetness and characteristic breadfruit flavour is most strongly developed.

The fruit is a good source of the B vitamins thiamine and niacin, and fair in riboflavin, vitamin C and phosphorous.

When still firm, breadfruit can be boiled, baked, fried, sauteed or stirfried. It can be diced and added to a wide variety of main course dishes in the same ways you would use potato, taro, sweet potato and other starches. It can be made into chips, patties, salads, chowder and other savoury dishes. When half ripe, i.e., softening and beginning to sweeten, but still firm, it is delicious just baked or lightly fried in a little oil.

Breadfruit can also be dried, made into flour, or frozen (either raw or cooked) to preserve it for later use. Recipe books dealing with breadfruit include Tropical Fruit Recipes by the RFCI and Fruits of Hawaii by Miller, Bazore and Bartow (University Press of Hawaii, 1980).

  Information on the botany and culture of the breadfruit can be found in  A Guide to Artocarpus Fruits" by D. Chandlee in the RFCA newsletter of November 1988, and also in Tropical Crops by 1. W. Purseglove (Long mans, 1968).

It was suggested by Bill Whitman that we reprint this short but useful article. He also adds, "Here in Bal Harbour I have grown the "Puero", a Tahitian variety that is written up in Wilder's book The Breadfruit oj Tahiti as being among the best of the top three cultivars. My "Puero" has fruited over the years following a succession of mild winters. In fact, growers of breadfruit have had their trees fruit in much colder areas than mine on the mainland side of Biscayne Bay.

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"The breadfruit." Miami Rare Fruit Council International – RFCI, Tropical Fruit News, Feb. 1993.

Published 1 Apr. 2017 LR
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