The BVI Breadfruit Bonanza: Exploring the Delights of Breadfruit in the BVI
In the tropical paradise of the British Virgin Islands, a remarkable fruit takes center stage—the BVI Breadfruit. With its starchy texture and versatile culinary uses, BVI Breadfruit holds a special place in the hearts and taste buds of both locals and visitors. Join us on a journey as we delve into the world of breadfruit in the BVI, discovering its rich history, unique characteristics, and mouthwatering culinary creations.
The BVI Breadfruit Chronicles:
The Island’s Bounty:
Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) thrives in the warm climate of the British Virgin Islands. Its historical roots trace back to ancient canoe-voyaging Indians, although it is more commonly attributed to Captain William Bligh’s introduction to the Caribbean in the late 18th century. Breadfruit quickly became a staple crop due to its abundance and ability to sustain populations.
Breadfruit trees can reach heights of up to 85 feet, but in the Virgin Islands, they typically grow between 30-50 feet. Remarkably, all parts of the tree produce latex sap, which has found diverse applications. This sap has been used as a sealant, particularly in wooden boat caulking, showcasing the resourcefulness of the breadfruit tree. Additionally, its light and sturdy bark have been prized in woodworking and house construction.
A Strong Comeback:
Hurricane Irma significantly reduced the Breadfruit Trees in the British Virgin Islands in September 2017. Nevertheless, as of 2023, the BVI Breadfruit Trees appear to be making a strong comeback, with new trees growing and old ones nearing their full yielding potentials.
A Versatile Delight:
Breadfruit is a culinary chameleon, offering a plethora of possibilities in the kitchen. Its starchy flesh can be prepared in various ways, including roasting, boiling, frying, or grilling. Whether used as a side dish, a main course, or incorporated into delectable desserts, breadfruit showcases its adaptability and versatility in the vibrant cuisine of the BVI.
Classic BVI Dishes:
BVI Breadfruit takes center stage when in season. Whether it’s roasted whole old-school-style on a three-stone fire, baked, or boiled, sliced, and fried, it is sure to tantalize your taste buds and fill your belly. BVI Breadfruit is often served alongside other classic dishes such as the iconic BVI Fish and Fungi.
BVI Breadfruit Goes with Almost Any Provision:
BVI Breadfruit is often served alongside other provisions such as tannia, potato, and pumpkin to complement your saltfish dish, pig-tail, or any other dish that traditionally includes provisions. Whenever BVI Breadfruit is in season, it’s a versatile addition to any provision-based meal.
Innovative Culinary Creations:
The culinary creativity of the BVI knows no bounds when it comes to BVI Breadfruit. From BVI Breadfruit pizza crusts to BVI Breadfruit fries and chips, to BVI Breadfruit with coconut milk, inventive chefs have found exciting ways to incorporate this versatile fruit into contemporary dishes. You might also encounter BVI Breadfruit in savory stews, curries, or as a star ingredient in refreshing fruit salads and smoothies.
Beyond its culinary appeal, BVI Breadfruit offers a range of nutritional benefits. It is a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins, making it a healthy addition to your diet. With its low glycemic index and high satiety value, BVI Breadfruit provides sustained energy and can be a valuable component of a balanced meal.
Local BVI Healing Bush Tea:
For generations, Breadfruit and avocado leaves have been used in local BVI Healing Bush Tea to help control high blood pressure. It is said that after three days of drinking it twice a day, you will experience a reduction in your blood pressure. Start by picking one breadfruit leaf and four avocado leaves, ensuring they are healthy and pest-free. Wash the leaves and cut the breadfruit leaf into several pieces. Place all the leaves into a medium pot with five cups of water. Over medium heat, bring the pot to a boil and then remove it from the fire and let it stand for five minutes. Strain and sweeten with honey to taste. Drink one cup in the morning and another before going to bed. Keep the remaining tea in the refrigerator. Recheck your blood pressure after three days.
BVI Breadfruit – Other Uses:
BVI Breadfruit is not just a food source; it also provides a multitude of other beneficial uses.
Gluten-Free Flour: Breadfruit can be processed into gluten-free flour, which is far superior in taste, nutrition, and structure to any other gluten-free flour alternative.
Insect Repellent: In addition to being a safer alternative to DEET, the male breadfruit flower is highly effective at repelling mosquitoes and other insects.
Latex: The sap excreted from the breadfruit can be used as waterproof caulking for watercraft and homes, as well as a chewing gum.
Fabric: Fibers from the bark of the breadfruit tree can be harvested without killing the crop and used to make mosquito nets, clothing, accessories, artwork, and even paper.
Animal Feed: Fallen fruits, as well as the leaves of the tree, can be used as nutritious animal feed.
Breadfruit holds a special place in the hearts and kitchens of the British Virgin Islands. From its historic introduction, attributed both to ancient canoe-voyaging Indians and Captain Bligh, to its versatile culinary uses and numerous other applications, this tropical fruit is an integral part of the BVI’s cultural fabric. Whether you savor classic breadfruit dishes or explore innovative culinary creations, the flavors and stories of breadfruit in the BVI are bound to leave you with a newfound appreciation for this delightful fruit. So, embrace the breadfruit bonanza while it’s in season and let your taste buds embark on a delicious journey through the islands of the British Virgin Islands.