Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Pacific Islander in Bintulu

The above is  a long shot view ( LS) of the Sukun tree ( Artocarpus communis Forst. or sometimes referred to as Artocarpus altilis) . Originated from the Pacific Islands, it has now become a popular plant found  in the gardens and farms of rural Bintulu.  The tree can reach 30 meters. The leaves are wide i.e. around 20 -30 cm and about 30-60cm long.

These breadfruits are large, has thick skin and mainly cooked when they are semi-ripe as fritters,smoked or prepared with coconut milk as vegetables. There are of course many other ways how the fruits are cooked or prepared depending from which tropical area you come from.  The fruits are non-seasonal and therefore can be available all year round in Bintulu. Depending on size each fruit can fetch a price of between RM 3- RM5 at the local Tamu or jungle produce market.  The sukun fruits are seedless and therefore are propagated through root cuttings or marcots. The fruits are ovalish and cylinderical and the diameter can be between 10-30cm . It is believed that by drinking water from the boiled leaves can reduce high blood pressure and relieve asthma.

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