Benefits of breadnut
Breadnut is our favorite culinary ingredient during the rainy season. Sometimes, vendors peel off the fruit and slice it into thin pieces for cooking.
Artocarpus camansi, the scientific name of the tree that produces the spiky, globular green fruit, grows in tropical regions and coastal provinces. Here, it is called camansi or pakak.
The camansi was used during the pre-Hispanic era as a source of food, because a tree produces up to 800 fruits a year! In times of war or famine, it’s a lifesaver due to its abundance, nutritional benefits and good storage properties.
The camansi’s ripe fruit is sweet and flavorful. When used for cooking, however, it’s best to choose young fruits whose seeds are not yet covered by a hard coat. They taste like mushroom.
Older seeds can be boiled or roasted like chestnuts, and can either be canned or processed into paste, butter, flour or oil.
They’re high in protein, starch, minerals, contain more niacin than other nuts, and are a good source of vitamins and antioxidants.
Do not cut the camansi stem immediately. Use it to handle the fruit while peeling, because the fruit has sticky latex. When peeled, make round or thin slices. Some cooking suggestions:
Breadnut and coconut: Use thin slices or chunks. Add coconut slivers. Cook in coconut milk. Salt to taste.
Breadnut adobo: Use round slices. Boil. Cover with flour, then fry or grill. Then, pour in adobo sauce.
Breadnut spread: Use thin slices. Boil. Shred into small pieces. Mix in all-purpose cream, pickle relish and salt. Use for sandwiches.
Breadnut joy: Use chunks. Boil. Roll in bread crumbs with a little salt. Fry. Serve with ketchup.
Breadnut paksiw: Use chunks. Boil. Cook with eggplants, vinegar or kamias. Salt to taste.
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