Friday, 8 March 2013

Breadfruit Fiasco

Justin bought me a cookbook when we first arrived in Grenada. I was wary of the kitchen and required a guide to help me acclimate. The cookbook did help quell my fears for a while I gained culinary courage. I eventually broadened my horizons and left my Caribbean cookbook behind. My cookbook was rediscovered the other day and I felt terrible that I'd set it aside for so long. Browsing through landed me on page 10 where I saw the recipe for breadfruit pies. Of course, I chose to make breadfruit pies.

For those of you who have not seen a breadfruit...

..that is breadfruit. A weird name for a weird fruit. Breadfruit tastes like a savory potato. It's starchy and more bitter than sweet. Grenadians use it in stews and soups alongside potatoes, yams, tannia, and is central in Grenada's national dish oildown.

[A historical reflection by a local man: I heard from a guy that breadfruit trees were imported into Grenada to feed the slaves being brought in from Africa. Breadfruit trees produce multiple large fruits and have more than one annual harvest. The trees were sent in ships along with slaves and were given preferential treatment over slaves by slave masters because of their ability to feed so many at such low cost. Part of his story is verified here.]

My recipe required me to boil, mash, and create dough with breadfruit (with a touch of flour and butter).

(Can you tell that this is going to go terribly wrong?)

Here's my dough. Essentially I'm using it to make a savory meat handpie.
The meat filling was flavoured with lovely fresh herbs...

...minced veggies.

 ...and was sautéed . In the meantime, I had left my dough to cool then rolled it out in preparation for filling. The dough said no. This stuff was the stickiest substance I had ever touched. Check out my hands on the left upper corner of the picture.  Now go back up and look at the dough photo. Sticky mess.

Seriously, this stuff was a disaster. Words cannot describe the what have I done?! feeling. To make matters worse, I was starving. The combination did me in and I decided to scrap the entire business and eat nothing. Forever.

Thankfully my reasonable husband came to my rescue and helped me find myself again. Together we spent an HOUR taking the sticky mess, bending it to our wills, and producing something that resembled a hand pie.

To my great surprise, it worked! And they were beautiful. The breadfruit retained its distinctive yellow colour but the crumb coating deepened into a rich brown. Better yet, they were tasty! 

I will never again make these but my bad experience gave me another reason to admire my husband. Seriously, I would have thrown a temper tantrum without his level-headed optimism. 
They say marriage grows you as an individual. I definitely believe them.

My future plans with breadfruit are still tentative. I'll definitely be a little less ambitious than I was this day. Justin liked the pies and likes breadfruit so we will meet again one day. This time I'll be ready.

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