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Excellent artos wid fried jacks


Ah want to introduce or reintroduce readers to Artos, my most trusted and dependable friend. Artos and Karpos, his twin hail from de famous Artocarpus Altilis family. Dey arrived here in de Caribbean by Canoe of course, having left dey South Pacific homeland some 250 years ago. Karpos went to Jah-mek-her but Artos came to Hi-Rhona. Ah overs dat it was an Expedition that comprised several members of dat family who had ventured out on ah mission to “Feed de World.” In fact de only survivors were those who took to de tropical countries. But none was as creative and versatile as Artos who came to Sin Vin Sin. Within three years of arrival, Artos produced food, clothing, materials foh shelter, de crib and de house, and when de natives died, dey turned to Arto foh boards to build coffins.{{more}}

By now Readers should figure out way ah coming wid dis week. Well ah was watching VC3, ah local TV station, unfortunately ah tuned in just when de program was coming to an end. Dey was ah seminar and de hosted by ah white lady wid ah US/UK accent. She was talking wid authority about Arto, my most cherished friend, except she referred to him by his adopted Vincy family name: “De Breadfruit Plant!” Ah didn’t get her name, so ah will call her “Lady L” as in Lie-Za. Dis lady is very knowledgeable about de Breadfruit. She spoke of its origin de South Pacific, brought hey by Capt Bligh in late 1700’s to feed de Slaves whose food bill was biting deep into Massa’s profits.

Ah tried getting ah copy of Lady L’s presentation from de API, but de technician seemed to have copied de wrong program. However ah Go-glow de Net to learn more on de Breadfruit aka as Artocarpus Artilis ah scientific or Latin name, derived from Greek (artos foh bread, karpos foh fruit), and altilis means ‘fat’. Baked or roasted in a fire, de fruit has a starchy texture and fragrance that is reminiscent of fresh baked bread. Dey are hundreds ah varieties, Lady L is familiar wid 132, tasted most of dem except our famous Coco-bred and Cashie-bread which she found very tasty when she tried some.


But Lady L’s mission is to tell us dat soon, man will not have food to eat, What do yuh expect? We mass producing computers and Sell-phones, fast cars and boats. Nobody want to plant de Corn, ley we say Breadfruit foh now; nobody wants to catch de fish or feed de fowl, or tie out de Sheep! So in desperation de experts are suggesting we plant more Artos, de Breadfruit. Very ainteresting dat in SVG de NDP is add-vocating: “one job in every household;” de ULP add-ah-man’t about: “ah University Degree in every house” (my girl Lie-Za say when yuh can’t get wuk, eat yuh degree or stick it up….. on de wall). In T’n’T de calm-pain slogan is “ah Breadfruit tree in every yard.” De same T’n’T uses to heckle us say in SVG if yuh murder someone dey set yuh free; but if yuh cut down one ah we sacred Breadfruit Tree, dey will heng yuh!” Ah think dat has changed somewhat, SVG is ah free foh all society today, people cutting down dey NME, dey brother, dey sister and not even ah trial, even if yuh cut down de Breadfruit tree in yuh yard no one cares, but if yuh want yuh Real Breadfruit Tree (yuh wuk) get cut down, say something critical about dis ULP regime.

My trusted friend Artos can be cooked and eaten at all stages of maturity. Traditionally we cooked young Breadfruit mek soup, roast it foh dinner and next morning we fried de left-overs, ooooooh how nice and tasty. But now-ah-days Breadfruit is in everything dainty: Pies, Salads, cream, soup, stuffing. There are over 500 dishes dat can be prepared with Breadfruit. Nuff respect to SVG’s National Dish our very own “Excellency Artos wid fried Jack Fish!” Breadfruit is second to none in nutritional content: Carbohydrates foh energy; low levels ah protein and fat and a moderate glycemic index. Ah good source of dietary fiber, potassium, calcium, and magnesium with small amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and iron. Some varieties contain small amounts of folic acid; but if yuh want to test stomach gas, eat ah bowl ah Arto and Avo-Cardo is poop like rain!

Yes dey’s now ah Breadfruit Flour and according to Lady L, de nutritional value in Breadfruit Flour manufactured wid de skin is higher dan any ah de other Flours including Wheat, Barley, Corn and Rice. Would yuh believe dat Tira Sutherland ah Vincy from Georgetown, produced ah home-made Breadfruit Flour. When he tried to get funding from an available source right hey in SVG, dat N-V-us officer at de ministry of Agriculture, frustrated every effort, eventually de funding expired and de money went Back to de Funding Agency, dey literally cut down de man Breadfruit Tree. My message is foh everybody to plant ah Breadfruit Tree in dey own backyard oops, behind de house. Ah notice ah have ah young Breadfruit tree dat bearing dis year foh de first time, but it’s dangerously located between de house and ah gutter, it has to go. Imagine me cutting down me own Breadfruit Tree. And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.