Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Summer Fruit - Breadfruit - Part Three

The notorious Captain William Bligh of the HMS Bounty is given credit for bringing breadfruit to the Caribbean. (Although some believe it was Captain James Cook, explorer extraordinaire.) Because they are a wonderful source of starch, he (Bligh) and the King of England thought they would be a good food staple for the slaves. It is said an ancient tree still growing on the island of St. Vincent is one that he planted.

Here’s a picture of one, weighing in at about 3 pounds.
It has tough leathery skin. The meat is off white. When it ripens it is soft and the meat is slightly sweet. It is best cooked while it is still hard and green. Boiled up it has much the same taste and texture as potatoes.

Here’s a picture of some cooked breadfruit.

When I visit in the summer I make the rounds to the many small produce stands along the road sides hunting breadfruit. They are so popular they fly off the shelves in no time.

One Friday about 4:30 PM I got a call from my friend Margaret to say there were breadfruit for sale at a busy intersection just up the road from our house. I hopped into the car, dressed in my house rags, hair falling out of my chopstick bun and went up as soon as I got the word.

When I arrived I saw breadfruit in the back of the man’s pick-up. He said, “If you see someting you like, bring it.” So I picked out the nice large green one pictured above.

“Good afternoon,” I said. One always begins a conversation or business transaction with a “Good morning,” “Good afternoon,” or “Good evening.”

“Good afternoon,” he replied.

“How much for your breadfruit?” I asked.

“A dollar a pound. How much you tink it weigh?”

I moved it around in my hands trying to gauge its weight. “Oh, about 3 pounds I think.” I replied.

“Let me see.” I handed it to him. He had no scale, and judged the weight as I had.

“You close,” he said. “$2.50.”

Another man with him said, “Yea, man, give she a break. She honest. So many people deeze days want more for less.”

“Thank you,” I said. “How much for your fresh eggs?” Truly fresh eggs can be hard to come by as eggs are cold shipped from the states and already a week or more old and almost always of the white variety. When we can get a dozen fresh brown eggs we snap at the opportunity.

“$4.00,” he said

So my total was $7.50. All I had was a ten and he had no quarters. “Keep the change.” I said.

“Tank you, tank you,” he replied.

Smiles went all around.

“Have a good afternoon,” I said.

“And you as well,” the man replied.

That’s how one does road side shopping here. He was so pleasant. At one point a car looked like it was going to go up the hill from his stand and he pulled gently at my arm to get me out of the way.

“I don’t want you get run over,” he said.



  1. Bish, your Caribbean stories always make me feel like I'm taking a little vacation. They're such a treat.

  2. I love your stories...We have vegetables stands around here and the people that run them are sooo much nicer than the grocery store people...Hugs...

  3. The overall lesson is simple. If you live in an open community, just be yourself. My best wishes are that we all live in such neighborhoods (large and amsll), willing to accept people as they are - warts, house rags, unkempt hair and all.

    A similar event happened when we bought those lovely baskets from Dominica - for about half the stated price - based on their sizes - from yet "another roadside attraction."

  4. Great story! I love the tales from the Caribbean too! Exotic fruits I"ve never heard of!

  5. If I could, I'd book a flight right now...

  6. Truly, driving around to look for produce at the different stands, is one of my favorite things to do when I'm down there. The people who run them are hard working and honest. Sometimes their prduce may cost a bit more than the grocery store, but it is likely to be fresher and grown within the Caribbean. So I have no trouble giving them my money.

  7. Looks yummy - thanks for the trip via visuals :)

  8. You make me want to visit! That is such a wonderful life-story. Thank you for sharing!


  9. What a pretty fruit, and a lovely story of the roadside stand.


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!