Sunday | April 19, 2015
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New videos, publications promote use of breadfruit

Te Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu project to revitalize breadfruit has just released a series of videos and publications to assist Hawaii’s breadfruit growers in supplying grocery stores, restaurants and farmers markets with high-quality fruit and help chefs become more familiar with breadfruit handling and preparation in the kitchen.

Backyard growers, consumers and educators will also find the information pertinent to home and community use of breadfruit, or ulu.

The color, 24-page “Breadfruit Production Guide: Recommended Practices for Growing, Harvesting and Handling” is aimed at breadfruit growers. The guide details best practices for harvest and postharvest handling to optimize value in the marketplace.

Breadfruit is often mistakenly picked at the green or immature stage. The guide explains how to identify and pick breadfruit when it is mature, at its optimal flavor and marketability.

A corresponding video, “Harvest and Postharvest Best Practices” provides a visual demonstration of the key practices outlined in the Breadfruit Production Guide.

Breadfruit is a very nutritious and versatile local food underutilized by chefs and consumers. In the video “Handling and Preparation of Breadfruit,” celebrity Chef Sam Choy is joined by Chef De Cuisine Scott Hiraishi of Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai, and cultural practitioner Shirley Kauhaihao of Honaunau in explaining how to prepare breadfruit from start to finish.

Peeling and cutting, and various methods of cooking — steaming, boiling, frying and baking — are demonstrated in the video.

Additional new publications also highlight basic preparation, nutrition and variety information.

“Brief Breadfruit Basics” is a 2-page publication that features basic handling and preparation methods. “Breadfruit — Nutritional Value and Versatility” highlights the nutritional qualities of breadfruit.

Each variety of breadfruit is slightly different in how it looks when mature and in its taste. “Breadfruit Variety Cards” describe three common varieties of breadfruit in Hawaii — Ma‘afala, ‘Ulu and Meinpadahk — so growers and chefs can understand the subtle differences when harvesting and preparing in the kitchen.

Because of sales and distribution of thousands of breadfruit trees in Hawaii in the past few years, the production of breadfruit is expected to increase dramatically — representing millions of dollars in potential retail sales of breadfruit in the next five to eight years.

Breadfruit can also play an increased key role in island food self-sufficiency, as it has been a primary staple food in the Pacific for thousands of years.

These videos and publications show how to properly harvest, handle and use breadfruit to fully realize its commercial and community value.

All of the videos and publications are available for free download at www.breadfruit.info and www.breadfruit.org.

The publications will also be on hand at the Breadfruit — From Tree to Table workshop from 8:30 a.m.-noon Saturday at Ho‘oulu Lahui, the site of Kua O Ka La Public Charter School at Pu‘ala‘a, adjacent to the ‘Ahalanui County Park warm ponds in Puna.

The workshop is $12 per person and advance registration online is required at www.breadfruit.info.

The videos and publications are produced by the Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu — Revitalizing Breadfruit project — and are sponsored by the state Department of Agriculture.

Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu is a project to revitalize breadfruit as an attractive, delicious, nutritious, abundant, affordable and culturally appropriate food that addresses Hawaii’s food security issues. It is a project of the Hawaii Homegrown Food Network and the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden.

 

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