Ulu

Ulu is what we call breadfruit here in Hawaii. There is a large body of knowledge concerning this fruit, it has been in use by the Polynesians and their forebears for millenia, and although it is generally underused, it is often a subject of interest because it is well known.

Bring up the subject of ulu in conversation here and you are bound to hear several recipes (more properly, ‘preparations’) for this starchy and substantial fruit. People seem to love using it, and are proud of their recipes even if they don’t eat it regularly. We use it regularly, and we will probably increse our use of it, as it is an inexpensive (if you have to buy it at all!) and abundant resource. It’s chief downside is it’s seasonality, and perhaps the challenge it presents to cooks unfamiliar with it’s use.

Our first choice for general information is of course Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breadfruit

The usual ways we cook the ulu are: stewed (curries), fried (ulu fries), and grilled (ulu cutlets). Breadfruit is typically used in an ‘unripe’ state, a typical indicator of readiness being the appearance of white latex sap on the outside of the fruit. The fruit ripens to a sweet, yellowish pudding-like texture and it’s sometimes eaten at this stage. Traditional Hawaiian preparations include roasting, mashing and fermenting (poi ulu) and burying (and subsequent fermentation) of the ripe fruit.

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