First Breadfruit Day organised in Seychelles, valorising traditional staple food
A breadfruit tree was planted by several top officials. (Juliette Dine)
With the aim of encouraging people in Seychelles to have a breadfruit tree in their home garden to help in ensuring food security in the country, the Creative Seychelles Agency (CSA) organised the first Breadfruit Day on Saturday.
The event was held at Domaine Val de Pres in the eastern district of Au Cap on the main island of Mahe.
The executive director of CSA, Emmanuel D'Offay said that several institutions "are all working together to promote this event, which in the future we want it to be a Breadfruit Festival."
"We as Seychellois have a great story to sell to our visitors in regards to the breadfruit that is 'when one eats breadfruit in Seychelles, it means you are sure to come back," added D'Offay.
|People who attended the event were also able to sample different ways of eating breadfruit. (Juliette Dine) Photo License: CC-BY|
To mark the occasion, breadfruit trees were planted by several top officials including Keven Nancy, principal secretary for agriculture, David Andre, secretary general for the Institute of Culture, Heritage and the Arts, and Benjamin Rose, executive director of National Heritage Resource Council. The elected member of the National Assembly for the district, Kelly Saminadin, also planted a tree.
People who attended the event were also able to sample different ways of eating breadfruit.
According to a study made by the agriculture department in 2021, there is a record of 4,424 breadfruit trees on Mahe, Praslin and La Digue. This year, the department will continue its inventory and has estimated that the number of breadfruit trees is over 9,000.
As a small country that is heavily reliant on imported goods, the breadfruit, which was once the Seychellois staple food, may become popular once again.
Along with cassava, breadfruit used to be a popular food in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, in the years before the regular importation of other staples such as rice, potatoes and bread flour.
The fruit has a tough green outer skin and a white or yellow potato-like inner texture and can be boiled, grilled, fried, steamed, roasted or more popularly eaten cooked in coconut milk in a recipe called "la daube" as a dessert.
The nutrition department is encouraging locals to eat more breadfruit because it has high nutritional value and reduces the risk of inflammation in the body.