A common sight on the Maldivian islands, the Bread Fruit Tree is a beautiful and prolific plant, bearing an essential component of traditional Dhivehi fare. “Bambukeyo” is the local term coined for this fruit, and it is a common element in home landscapes, which grows up to an astounding height of 30 metres. Unlike its native Polynesia and other tropical breadfruit growing areas, only the seedless varieties are found in the Maldives. Breadfruit is edible in all stages of maturity, and is known to be high in gluten-free carbohydrates while also being a prominent source of minerals and vitamins.
- Breadfruit is experimented in cookery in many forms, from baking, boiling, frying and roasting; each method results in a unique taste. Such is the reason why it is so fittingly named, for its starchy like flavour similar to freshly baked bread.
- The latex, leaf, tips, roots, and the inner bark of the plant is known to have medicinal values.
- Breadfruit is also carved into paper-thin chips, and are deep fried – a favourite delicacy shared by Maldivians which is also available all year round. These are the famous “Thelulli Bambukeyo” – a must try snack for food enthusiasts.
- Apart from its edible and medicinal properties, Breadfruit furnishes ornamental purposes as well, providing shade, an ordinary sighting in the home gardens of the Maldivian tropics.
- The tree’s wood, is used as excellent means for woodworking and carpentry while it is also often a substitute for firewood.