Fruit trees: bread tree

Fruit trees: bread tree

Generality

Family: Moraceae

The name Artocarpus derives from the Greek artos (= bread) and karpos (= fruit) and refers to the taste of the fruit after cooking. A similar origin also has the vulgar name bread tree, which applies strictly to the Artocarpus altilis species and in a broad sense to all species of the genus.
Artocarpus altilis (breadfruit in English) is a tree common in the islands of the South Pacific, where it is one of the main sources of food. The edible fruit, which is the size of a small melon, has a rough and leathery peel and a white and floury pulp that can be prepared and consumed in different ways. The bread tree reaches a maximum of 12 m in height and has long shiny, leathery and deeply incised leaves; unisexual flowers are carried by the same plant on separate racemes.
In the Pacific, the fruits of bread are a fundamental food for the local population.
In tropical countries there is another type - Artocarpus heterophyllus - called Jackfrut - which originates from Asia but already in the 16th century it was brought from Portogalli to Brazil. Its fruit is much larger, even 1 m long and weighs 50 kg.

Bread tree Artocarpus altilis (Parkinson) Fosberg (photo Kowloonese)

Breadfruit fruit (photo www.ars.usda.gov)

Uses

Its fruit contains 20% damido and 1-2% albumin, it can be cooked, fried, roasted or dried.
The seeds of ripe fruits - bread peanuts - are eaten toasted.
Textile fibers are obtained from the inner bark; with wood, soft and light, furniture and small boats are built, while waterproofing preparations are obtained from the sap.


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