Breadfruit has been a staple on Barbadian tables and menus for more than two centuries. However, for those who are unfamiliar with it, the name ‘breadfruit’ should not be taken literally, as its green, textured skin and white insides are a far cry from anything bread-like!
The breadfruit – sometimes written bread-fruit – was introduced to the island at the end of the 18th century when the island’s inhabitants sought a solution to stem the period of food scarcity caused by the American Revolution. During this period, young breadfruit trees were sourced from East Asia and the Pacific, an act which would forever reshape the natural landscape of the island.
Today, breadfruit trees may be found in every parish, and breadfruit is enjoyed in several unique but delicious ways. Eat it fried, pickled or steamed with other vegetables, or sample the many treats made with breadfruit flour. One of the most authentic Barbadian food experiences is roasting breadfruits on an open fire, and breaking open the charred outside to reveal delicious yellowish inside that is best paired with butter. Even our national dish of flying fish and cou-cou has a breadfruit alternative, with the traditional cornmeal-based cou-cou sometimes being substituted for a buttery, breadfruit-based version!