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Caribbean Weekly: St. Vincent and the Grenadines #1 Breadfruit Lovers

Although loved by most of the other countries in the Caribbean basin, breadfruit has a extra special relationship with the islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. For many people, the breadfruit is seen as a symbol of St. Vincent, tied to the nation’s culture and heritage. The leaf of the breadfruit can be seen engraved on pots on the islands. The breadfruit itself forms part of the country’s national dish of roasted breadfruit and fried jack fish.

Historically, breadfruit has been associated with SVG since 1793 when Captain William Bligh anchored the HMS Providence off Kingstown and completed his ambition of bringing breadfruit plants to the islands from Tahiti. It is said, one of the trees now growing in Kingstown’s Botanical Gardens is a descendant of one of Captain Bligh’s original breadfruit plants.

Roasted Fried Breadfruit. Image source www.thesophisticatedcaveman.com

Roasted Fried Breadfruit. Image source www.thesophisticatedcaveman.com

St Vincent and Grenadines hosts a Breadfruit Festival annually in the month of August, and compliment the Emancipation Month activities as the breadfruit is associated with slavery. The fruit was brought to St. Vincent and the Grenadines to feed the slaves, as it was a cheap source of food. Every weekend during August, the festival takes place in different communities throughout St. Vincent. A variety of dishes made from breadfruit are exhibited, and Vincentians and visitors are encouraged to support the farmers and to eat local.

The dishes include but are not limited to breadfruit cheese pie, breadfruit puff, pizza, lasagna, breadsticks, quiche, sweet and sour candy (blossom). There are also breadfruit drinks available. 

Local cultural activities are also part of the festival, they include dancing, drumming, and performances by calypsonians among others. Hoteliers and restaurateurs are encouraged to utilize the breadfruit in meal preparation during the month of August.

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There are at least 25 varieties of breadfruit
in St. Vincent & the Grenadines such as:

1 Butterheart
2 Captain Bligh
3 Cocobread
4 Creole
5 Creole Black
6 Creole Common
7 Creole Ready Roast
8 Creole White
9 Dessert
10 Dessert Ready Roast
11 England
12 Floaters

13 Hogpen
14 Hope Marble
15 Kashee
16 Lawyer Caine
17 Liberal
18 Lulu
19 Massa
20 Old Wind
21 Sally Young
22 Soursop
23 Waterloo
24 White
25 Wilkes

Breadfruit Recipes

Image source www.restorationvillagefarm.com

Image source www.restorationvillagefarm.com

Roasted breadfruit and fried jack fish.


Ingredients
1 large Roasted Breadfruit, peeled and sliced (see Recipe below)
1 lb Jack Fish
Lime or lemon juice
¼ cup minced seasoning (onion, chive, garlic, thyme)
1 tbsp salt
Flour for coating
Oil for frying
Method for Fried Jackfish
Clean Jacks.  Pour lemon juice over Jacks and leave to marinate for 15 minutes. Rinse and dry with paper towels. Add salt to minced seasoning and rub seasoning over fish and set aside.
Sprinkle flour on a plate.  Dredge fish in flour, shaking to remove excess.
Heat oil in frying pan on medium heat until very hot but not smoking
Fry Jacks for approximately 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown
Serve with sliced Roasted Breadfruit

Breadfruit Meringue Pie
Ingredients: 2 eggs 1 pie shell 1 cup of flour 2/3 cups of sugar 1 teaspoon of salt 1 teaspoon of salt 1/4 pound of raisins 1/4 pound of currants 2 teaspoons of vanilla 2 cups of coconut milk 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder 2 cups of grated breadfruit -(uncooked)
Directions:First you must mix together all of the ingredients until smooth. Pour into a 9 inch pie shell. Bake in a hot oven at 400 F. for 1 hour. For a softer filling use 3/4 cup flour. Now remove from the oven, top with meringue. Return to the oven for at least 10 minutes or until meringue is set.
Meringue: 2 egg whites 6 tbsp. granulated sugar
Directions:Beat the egg whites until it forms a peak. Add sugar and continue beating until stiff. Finally, cover the breadfruit filling with the meringue and put in the oven for 10 minutes.

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Breadfruit Fish cakes
2 cups cooked flaked fish (salted fish can be used) 2 cups cooked mashed breadfruit
1 onion
2 sprigs celery
1-ounce margarine
2 teaspoons lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
2 egg whites
Oil for frying/bread crumbs
Red and green pepper for garnish
Method
* Mix together flaked fish and crushed breadfruit 
Mince seasonings (onion and celery) sauté in margarine until softened 
Add sautéed seasonings, lime juice, salt and pepper to breadfruit/fish mixture 
Beat well and check the taste 
Beat egg whites until stiff, fold into breadfruit/fish mixture 
Heat oil in frying pan 
Drop mixture by spoonfuls into breadcrumbs and shape as desired 
Fry in heated oil turning to brown on all sides 
Drain fried fish cakes on paper towels 
Arrange on serving dish 
Garnish with slices of red and green pepper

Breadfruit Punch
1 small half-ripened breadfruit
1-1/2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
3-4 bay leaves
2 tsp. vanilla essence

DIRECTIONS
1. Wash and cut the breadfruit into quarters and remove the heart and seeds.
2. Remove the skin with a sharp knife. Put the breadfruit in a pot with enough water to cover the pieces.
3. Put the bay leaves and cinnamon into the pot. Steam the pieces on medium fire until they are soft.
4. Remove pieces from the pot and blend with milk, vanilla, sugar, nutmeg and blend until smooth.
5. Pour mixture into a pitcher, chill for about two hours, then serve.
6. (add a little rum if you like)

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