It seems the breadfruit or kolo season starts in April or May and continues for several months over the summer and into the early parts of the rainy season. I have had a love/hate relationship with this fruit — as a child, and the youngest of the brood, my mother used to “drag” me with her to visit relatives in a small town in Bohol which is where her parents had a large home in the 1940’s. As part of those two-week or so long visits, I was forced to accompany her on daily visits to friends and relatives and what seemed like every single home in the small town where we were inevitably served merienda (morning or afternoon) and it was breadfruit then breadfruit then more breadfruit all with a sticky latik or coconut/sugar sauce. It was fine the first house or two, but when you see the 39th platter of breadfruit with latik you just want to lose it. But as a 10 year old, that wasn’t really an option. Needless to say, those visits were ALWAYS in the months of April or May and it must have been the height of the breadfruit season in Bohol. I never ate breadfruit again for at least 25 years since, despite my parents growing a beautiful tree in front of our residence in Manila. :)
Fast forward to a decade or so ago, and I wrote this post, about some breadfruit from my grandmother’s backyard in Cebu, and a new appreciation for this starchy staple was born. Now I look for it when the hot summer months hit, and last week, I was given 3-4 fruit from the tree in my grandmother’s home, even if we sold the place several years ago. The new owners were kind enough to send me some of the prized fruit, which from this particular tree, and in it’s setting, bears the most amazing breadfruit. Bland for most people, this particular breadfruit is a little more flavorful with just a hint of sweetness. It is PERFECT deep fried in lard and either plain with latik or cooked with good muscovado sugar melted and caramelized onto the sliced of breadfruit, in a banana-qua style treatment. I’m told it’s not that easy to grow this tree, even though it seems common enough in the provinces, but I guess with no seeds, perhaps one has to marcot the tree. It’s too bad this isn’t more readily available in markets, it would make a terrific, delicious, economical dish to serve at home or in restaurants.