>> Sunday, 8 March 2015
The Caribbean has a long history with breadfruit. It all started with Captain Bligh in the days of colonialism. Today, breadfruit is synonymous with Caribbean cuisine. For many, it is soulfood. There are many stories, some happy and some sad that many people can tell about breadfruit. I think almost every Caribbean person has a personal story to tell about their experience with breadfruit - from climbing the tree, to cooking and eating breadfruit. Personally, my love for breadfruit was only realized after moving to Barbados over a decade ago, and for the first time, eating fire-roasted breadfruit that was cooked in the yard on a bed hot coals.
There are so many trees around thus facilitating fruiting for year-round availability of breadfruit. Salt meat - salted pigtails, salted beef, salt fish, smoked fish - has always been associated with breadfruit. The two compliment each other very well. Most people prefer their breadfruit with salt fish but I prefer mine with salted pigtails.
To make this platter of breadfruit and pigtails is easy cooking. Here's what you will need:
- 1 full/ripe breadfruit
- 2 - 3 salted pigtails
- Vegetable oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
Here's what to do:
- Cut the breadfruit into quarters from the stem down. Remove the stem and its core and peel each piece.
- Add the breadfruit to a large pot and cover with water (the breadfruit will float to the surface). Rinse and cut the pigtails at their joints and add to the pot with the breadfruit. Cover the pot and bring to a boil on medium high heat. Cook until a knife inserts easily into the breadfruit. The breadfruit should be soft but not mushy. Drain the breadfruit and pigtails well.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut the the breadfruit into large chunks, brush or toss with oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with black pepper. Add the pigtails either at one side of the pan or dispersed in-between the breadfruit.
- Roast for 25 minutes then flip the breadfruit and roast for another 20 minutes or until golden and firm on the outside.
- Remove from oven let cool for about 10 - 15 minutes before serving.
- There is no need to season the breadfruit with salt, boiling it with the salted pig tails will season it.
- You can dress up the pigtails if you like by sautéing it with onions and herbs.