Panapén | Breadfruit
Scientific Name: Artocarpus altilis
Common Names: Ulu, Fruta de Pan, Pana, Panap
Description: Breadfruit is a tropical fruit belonging to the mulberry family. It has a large, green, and bumpy exterior with a starchy and creamy flesh inside. The fruit's texture is similar to that of bread when cooked, hence its name.
Distribution: Breadfruit is native to the South Pacific islands, but it has been introduced and cultivated in many tropical regions worldwide, including the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico.
Habitat: Breadfruit trees thrive in warm and humid climates with regular rainfall. They are often found in coastal areas and lowland regions.
Culinary Use: Breadfruit is a versatile tropical fruit that is widely used as a food source in many cultures. It can be cooked and consumed at different stages of ripeness. When young and green, it is often boiled, steamed, or roasted and used as a starchy vegetable. It has a texture similar to potatoes or bread when cooked, hence the name "breadfruit." When fully ripe, the fruit becomes soft and sweet, and it can be baked, fried, or used in desserts and sweet dishes.
Medicinal Use:In traditional medicine, various parts of the breadfruit tree are used for their potential health benefits. For example, the leaves are used for herbal teas believed to have healing properties.
Fun Fact: Breadfruit is native to the Pacific Islands and is believed to have originated in New Guinea. It was spread throughout the Pacific by early Polynesian voyagers and became a staple food in many tropical regions. Breadfruit trees are large and provide shade and shelter, making them valuable not only for their fruit but also for their ecological and cultural significance. The fruit grows on the branches of the tree and can reach impressive sizes, weighing several pounds each. In traditional medicine, various parts of the breadfruit tree are used for their potential health benefits. For example, the leaves are used for herbal teas believed to have healing properties.