Breadfruit is a very commonly used fruit in Creole cuisine of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The breadfruit trees are known to be generously yielding and are grown abundantly on the islands of the two oceans. In both Mauritius and Seychelles I have seen these trees grown everywhere and in almost every garden. This is known to be a nutritious fruit that is full of potassium, fiber and carbohydrate. Therefore seen as an energy supplement that is also filling. On another hand, breadfruit is gluten-free, which makes it sought after by celiac patients and those with gluten intolerance. The fruit is also made into flour, and this flour is specifically sought after for its gluten-free characteristic.
Breadfruit can be round or oval, covered with thick, rough green skin and is either white fleshed or beige to pale-yellow fleshed, depending on the type available. Both types taste very similar, however, the yellowish fleshed fruit is creamier when cooked than its white counterpart and is sweeter in flavour when ripe, which makes it especially good for making a breadfruit gratin (recipe on this link) and for the other very famous application: the breadfruit in Syrup.
In Creole cuisine, breadfruit is used in the making of both savoury and sweet concoctions. I have tried breadfruit crisps, and chips – deep fried until golden – and they are really gorgeous, very crunchy, tasty and I actually prefer them to potato crisps. When in Seychelles, I have tried a char-grilled whole breadfruit and it was extremely good. Similar to baked whole potatoes, but with a very interesting spongy texture. It was savoury in flavour with a strange creaminess despite being cremated over those coals, literally until black! The whole ceremony of cutting that charred ball with a huge knife was exhilarating, to reveal its white interior, which I was guessing would had been charred too! So wrong I was! It was white, fleshy, creamy, savoury and utterly delicious! I have also tried cookies and puddings made with breadfruit, which were also very interesting to say the least, some actually very tasty. And of course the specialty breadfruit in Syrup is just oozing with sweetness and very decadent. It seems that however way you spin this fruit, it is always delicious!
With all that said, I have to say that the breadfruit gratin I had in Mauritius a few weeks ago was by far the best application with this fruit. In fact, it is the utter most best gratin, I have ever had! It was delicious, creamy, cheesy, savoury, aromatic, chewy and so comforting but most of all very interestingly different! Your mouth just loves it. It is like a whole new comfort zone that your palate is not accustomed to. Absolutely beautiful. An epic side to grills, roasts, or even on its own with a side of salad to cut through all of the creaminess. Find the breadfruit gratin recipe on this link.
Now I know breadfruit is hard to find outside of the realms of the equator; outside the so unfairly lush and giving earth of abundance known as exotic islands… it is at times sold in Asian markets. I have once upon a time also seen it in Lulu Hypermarket here in Dubai (confirmed by my lovely facebookers and following tweeters). If you do find a breadfruit, buy it and try the delicious breadfruit gratin.