When you think of fruit grown in Hawaii, pineapple, papaya and mango usually come to mind. But breadfruit has been a primary staple food in the Pacific for thousands of years. Next month, a half-day workshop will help the public become more aware of this island-grown produce.
The “Breadfruit—From Tree to Table” workshop will be held Jan. 9, 2014 from 8:30am-12pm at the Community Services Building at UH Maui College in Kahului.
The workshop is designed to help Hawaii’s growers in supplying grocery stores, restaurants and farmers markets with high quality breadfruit. It will provide information to chefs in an effort to help them become more familiar with breadfruit preparation and handling. “From Tree to Table” will also provide information for backyard growers and home users.
The production of breadfruit is expected to increase dramatically over the next few years; production could represent millions of dollars in potential retail sales of the fruit in the next five to eight years. The increase prediction is based on the sales and distribution of thousands of breadfruit trees in Hawaii.
Breadfruit can also play an increased role in island food self-sufficiency. The breadfruit tree is reportedly one of the highest-yielding food plants, with a single tree producing 200 or more fruits per season. The workshop will teach how to properly harvest, handle and utilize breadfruit to fully realize its commercial and community value.
Among the topics covered at the workshop will be “Working with Variety”—an introduction to the three most common breadfruit varieties in Hawaii, presented by Dr. Diane Ragone, Director, Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden; “Tree to Table”—harvesting techniques, tricks and tools, and post-harvest handling, presented by Ian Cole, Collection Manager, Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden; and “Beyond Sticky and Some Like It Sweet”—basic preparation of breadfruit for use in a variety of dishes (or for storage), and using breadfruit at all stages including making gourmet dishes from ripe breadfruit, presented by John Cadman, Pono Pies. The workshop also will feature a segment on marketing and value added products, presented by Craig Elevitch, Hawaii Homegrown Food Network and Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu project.
The workshop will be presented by the Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu—Revitalizing Breadfruit project and is cosponsored by the State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture and Kamehameha Schools.
Space is limited and advance registration is required. The workshop is $12 per person and lunch by donation. To register, visit breadfruit.info. If you’re interested in volunteering at the workshop or donating breadfruit or more information, email [email protected] or call 808-756-9437.
Photo: Forest & Kim Starr/Wikimedia Commons