Breadfruit vs Jackfruit – What’s the difference?

Thank you for sharing!

With globalization, the variety of foods we see at the markets from around the world has increased. You might have seen seen breadfruit and jackfruit at the grocery store and wondered what the difference is. Then there’s breadnut – Is that the same as breadfruit? Breadfruit vs Jackfruit vs Breadnut will all be explored today!

Well if you’re like me, you might have Googled it and still been confused. Well, wonder no more! I’m here to break down the differences for you. Hang with me, this might get a little geeky.

By the end of this, you’ll have everything you need to know about the similarities and differences between breadfruit, breadnut and jackfruit with all of the health benefits.

Did you know that breadfruit has more nutritional value per ounce than jackfruit and more versatile? Some celebrity just needs to make it trend and then it will become as popular as breadfruit.

photo collage of breadfruit, jackfruit and breadnut

If you couldn’t already tell, I’m a bit biased towards breadfruit and in this post, I am going to demonstrate why…but give you all the info on both, as well as breadnut, so that you can make your own decision.

Is breadfruit the same as jackfruit? Is breadnut the same as breadfruit?

All of your questions will be answered here.

Breadfruit, Jackfruit and Breadnut are all members of the Moraceae family, also sometimes referred to as the mulberry family or the fig family. The name of the botanical family they come from is artocarpus:

  • Breadfruit – Artocarpus Altilis or Artocarpus Communis
  • Jackfruit – Artocarpus Heterophyllus
  • Breadnut – Artocarpus Camansi Blanco

Where do they come from?

Breadfruit and Breadnut are native to the Pacific Islands and through trade they spread to Southeast Asia and in modern times, to Africa. However, they came to the Caribbean in the late 18th century and are an integral part of Caribbean cuisine.

Today, breadfruit is very popular worldwide grown throughout the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, Africa, Central America and the Caribbean.

It got it’s name because depending on how it’s prepared, breadfruit mimics the texture and flavor of freshly baked bread.

Although not used as much in the Spanish speaking Caribbean where it is known as buen pan or panapen, breadfruit is used as a primary carbohydrate source in the rest of the Caribbean. It is cooked in many different ways from utilization in curries and soups to chips an fritters and when ripe, used in dessert recipes – even ice creams and smoothies.

Breadfruit is also very popular in Hawaii, where it is known as ulu.

Breadnut seeds are snacked on as you would nuts. Known as Chataigne in Trinidad and Maya Nut or Haitian Chestnuts in other places, it is a healthy snack.

Jackfruit is native to southern India, Sri Lanka and some parts of Southeastern Asia (Phillipines, Indonesia, Malaysia). In recent times, this has become a favorite meal alternative for vegans. However, traditionally, it is most often cooked in curries or stews. On it’s own, unripe jackfruit has a mild flavor. Rather, it absorbs the flavors of the gravy or whatever it is cooked in. There are even Jackfruit Seed curries and other recipes using the seeds alone.

When jackfruit is ripe, it is usually deseeded and then the fresh fruit can be eaten raw as is. The taste has notes of mango, pineapple and banana. This tasty fruit is a great snack for any time.

Growing

As indicated by their origins, these fruits grow best in warm tropical climates.Jackfruit is one of the largest fruits in the world. They can measure up to 3 feet long and weigh up to 100 pounds. They grown in large clusters on the jackfruit tree.

jackfruit tree with large cluster of jackfruit
Jackfruit Tree

The Breadfruit tree is one of the highest yielding fruit trees. More than 200 breadfruits can be harvested from 1 tree for each growing season. Most breadfruits are about the size of a cantaloupe weighing just a few pounds.

Breadfruit Tree with fruit
Breadfruit Tree

The Breadnut tree is characterized by very large leaves. The fruit is usually about 4 inches and weigh approximately 2 lbs. The fruit ranges in color from bright green to yellow-green with spiny skin. Approximately 50 breadnut seeds can be obtained from one breadnut.

Breadnut Tree
Breadnut Tree

Ok, so jackfruit may be the most popular especially for Vegans as a meat substitute, but what are the health benefits of jackfruit when compared with the health benefits of breadfruit or breadnut? Are they similar or not?

All three of these foods can definitely be regarded as superfoods. They all pack a nutritious punch and are jam packed with anti oxidant power. If you are looking for new and interesting ways to get in your dietary fiber, essential amino acid, protein and vitamins, including breadfruit, breadnut and jackfruit is a delicious way to go.

Health Benefits

There really is no great difference in the nutritional content of these foods although breadfruit does pack a powerful dose of dietary fiber. Adding any and all of these foods to your diet will definitely add a boost to your immune system.

Jackfruit Nutrition

Jackfruit is a low fat good source of protein and calcium. Also a good source of dietary fiber providing 10% of your daily intake.

High in Vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, iron niacin and magnesium.

May help with constipation, ulcers, diabetes, high blood pressure, skin problems and cancer.

Breadfruit Nutrition

Breadfruit is a low fat good source of protein and calcium. Also a good source of dietary fiber providing 40% of your daily intake.

Wits high fiber content, breadfruit helps control diabetes by reducing absorption of glucose from ingested food making it a low glycemic index

food. High in Vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, iron, omegas, folate and phytonutrients.

Breadfruit may reduce the risk of colon cancer plus aid with all the health conditions mentioned with jackfruit above.

Breadnut Nutrition

A good source of protein, fiber, B vitamins, Vitamin C, potassium, calcium, iron, Vitamin A and omega fatty acids.

May aid in all health conditions mentioned above.

The vitamins and minerals included in these foods and necessary for good heart health as well as brain, nervous system, bones and muscle functions. They may also help in controlling blood sugar levels.

Due to the filling nature of these starchy foods , eating them may also contribute to weight loss. These complex carbohydrates can replace white rice or potatoes in your diet as a healthier alternative.

NOTE: The information above is NOT medical advice and should not replace traditional medicine in combating illness. Your doctor should be consulted with helping control any medical conditions.

Where do I find them?

Now you are all excited about these members of the mulberry family, but where do you find them? Although they may be a staple food in the West Indies and other tropical countries, where can you find them in the United States.

Jackfruit

Prepared jackfruit, ready for cooking is widely available now. You may sometimes find them in the frozen section of the supermarket or in the meat alternative sections of the supermarket – where the tofu, etc. usually is.

Ripe, sweet, jack fruit ready for eating is most often found in Asian, Indian or African supermarkets.

Breadfruit

 A few years back, I would only find breadfruit once in a while at produce markets in Caribbean neighborhoods here in Brooklyn, NY where I live.

However, in recent times there are markets where it is always available and I have even seen it in places like Whole Foods.

Generally speaking, the kind of grocery stores you will easily find breadfruit in are Caribbean, African and some Asian markets – especially those that sell a lot of Southeast Asian food products.

When fully ripe, the skin will look brown and almost moldy with some white patches. If you press it and it feels very soft, it is not spoiled. That means it is very soft and ripe an perfect for utilizing as is in smoothies and to make ice cream.

whole breadfruit on a plate

Unripe breadfruit should be bright green and firm to the touch.

Breadnut

Breadnut is still hard to come by in the United States and rarely seen. When it is available, it is most often found in states with warmer climates like Florida.

Now you’ve figured out where to get them – Now comes the fun part of whipping up delicious foods with these healthy ingredients.

Breadfruit Recipes

Breadfruit Puffs

Breadfruit Palya

Breadfruit Fritters

Ripe Breadfruit Cake

Breadfruit Oil Down

Jackfruit Recipes

Jackfruit Honey Bread

Vegan Bao Buns

Jackfruit Halwa

Jackfruit Gyros

Breadnut Recipes

Chataigne Curry

I hope you’re satisfied with this Breadfruit vs Jackfruit vs Breadnut comparison and have all the information you need. Feel free to ask in the comments below if you still have any questions I did not cover.

Need more culinary inspiration? Check out the Recipe Index with over 1500 Recipes from Around the World with lots of Vegetarian 🥕🍆🍅and Gluten Free Recipes!

Thank you for sharing!

About Chef Mireille

CHEF MIREILLE - AUTHOR, RECIPE DEVELOPER AND PHOTOGRAPHER FOR Global Kitchen Travels
***
Chef Mireille is a NYC based freelance chef instructor and food photographer. Due to her very diverse family background, she was able to travel and learn about global cultures and flavors from a young age. Her passion for culture, cooking, history and education had made her an expert on developing traditional globally inspired recipes & delicious fusion cuisine.
Her extensive travel history provides a plethora of background information and Travel Tips!

Join the Global Kitchen Travels community!

Sign up for updates!

Thanks! Keep an eye on your inbox for updates.

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.