Chef Roger Mooking recently traveled
to the United States and Jamaica, and returned with tons of photos and
stories about the incredible food culture. We hope you’ll be inspired
to explore different cuisines and exotic ingredients this summer. We’ll
be publishing a new post every Thursday over the summer, so stay tuned
and enjoy Roger’s final post below! Make sure to also check out
Roger’s latest solo album, Feedback, available on iTunes.
If you have never had breadfruit straight from the tree, you need to add it to your list of things to try. Breadfruit grows on a large tree with dark green leaves in the tropics. It’s a very popular food in Trinidad, as well as Jamaica, where I have recently travelled.
The skin is fairly thick and inedible, but also a great protector of heat, which allows you to take breadfruit directly from the tree and place it onto open coals for roasting. The thick skin chars but also helps to seal in any of its natural moisture while roasting. Once cooked, after about 30 to 45 minutes, they can be cooled and peeled, and you are left with a light yellow “meat” that is slightly sweet but dense with starchy goodness – similar to the texture of a loaf of freshly baked bread.
Breadfruit is quite filling, which makes it very popular with islanders. It is also great steamed, boiled, or fried. The roasted breadfruit is often served with the Jamaican national dish of ackee and saltfish. Delicious, hearty and simple; you can see it pictured on the plate as the crescent shaped treat on the left.