Very closely related to Kamansi (Seeded Breadfruit), Kolo or Rimas (Breadfruit) (Artocarpus altilis) is a native of the Pacific Islands. It featured prominently as the cargo of Captain William Bligh in the Bounty, as in â€œMutiny on the Bounty.â€ The Bountyâ€™s cargo of several thousand breadfruit seedlings was destined for the Caribbean. The primary difference between Kamansi and Kolo is in the seeds; the latter has none. The easiest way to tell them apart is that Breadfruit has a smoother skin with polygons all over the surface; Kamansi has a sharper skin, more like a jackfruit. Breadfruit are what are known as compound fruit, with several distinct fruit or ovaries smushed together, similar to pineapples that have many eyes and are in fact many individual fruits pushed together. Breadfruit, are not surprisingly, also related to jackfruit.
Breadfruit must get its name from its extremely high starch content. It is a staple in some parts of the world. I have only had it fried but I have read that it can be baked, dried, boiled, ripened and made into desserts, etc. The tree behind our office in Cebu has been there for as long as I can remember and it must be a good 50+ years old. It is an impressive tree as it grows very tall and the leaves are huge and impressive. A few months ago I noticed that the tree was filled with small fruits and I wondered how long it would take to ripenâ€¦.over 12 weeks I think! But last week they were at their peak harvesting phase, â€œguangâ€ or â€œmatureâ€ they said, so I had some picked to bring them back to Manila. The fruit is picked before it ripens fully and the way they determine that is that some sap is visible on the prickly skin.
I am extremely familiar with this tree because we had a humongous one right outside our home in Makati when I was growing up. There was also the large tree at my grandmother’s home and breadfruit was abundant in my mother’s home town in Bohol. However, it turns out that many Filipinos are not familiar with the tree and it isn’t that easy to propagate or plant because it doesn’t have seeds. In fact, I have no clue how a new tree is planted if it isn’t marcotted… The same question for seedless grapes or papayas for that matter. At any rate, I overdosed on breadfruit as a kid so I don’t think I have eaten any for perhpas 30 years until last week…