For this month’s Tropical Thursday series, National Museum of Bohol we will feature delectable plant-based Filipino food source. Let’s start off with the Breadnut (Artocarpus camansi) commonly called as Kamansi.
The kamansi belongs to the genus Artocarpus, which comes from the Greek word Arto which means Bread and karpos meaning fruit, from the mulberry family, Moraceae. It is a branched tree which grows from 10 to 15 m high with large greenish ovate to oblong-shaped leaves. It bears spiny ovoid-shaped fruits with large light brown seeds and pulps.
To avoid confusion, this species is different from the seedless breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) locally called Kolo.
This tree species is utilized in a myriad of ways with its unique flavor, high fiber content, high percentage of complex carbohydrates and its current use in ethnic cuisine and in traditional medicine. The trunk and branches are used to make furnitures and boats or banca, and. also as fast-burning firewood. The dried male flowers act as insect repellant when burned. The decoction of its bark and leaves has medicinal properties and used as an alternative medicine for malaria, diabetes, dysentery, rheumatism, and an anti-oxidant.
The fruit with high dietary fibers is considered a staple food in rural communities. It is cooked as ginataan or tinunoan (with coconut milk) mixed with bago leaves and spices. It can also be cooked sweetened mixed with tuno (coconut milk) and brown sugar. Others may fry or roast it and dipped in latik. The seeds can also be boiled and roasted. The pulp and seeds have high nutritional value with protein, amino acids and other minerals which the healthy body needs.
Not only is the breadnut highly versatile that can be consumed at all stages, it is environment-friendly when cultivated, and a true superfood that helps boost our immune system.