A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands
This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.
The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.
SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).
PAPGREN coordination and support
Mr William Wigmore
Mr Adelino S. Lorens
Dr Lois Englberger
Mr Apisai Ucuboi
Dr Maurice Wong
Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
Mr Frederick Muller
Mr Herman Francisco
Ms Rosa Kambuou
Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
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Thursday, November 10, 2005
Posted 12:21 PM by Luigi
Cooking Contest Promotes Breadfruit
From Diane Ragone of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens and the Breadfruit Institute in Hawaii.
The Breadfruit Institute and Kahanu Garden of the National Tropical Botanical Garden held the 4th Breadfruit Cookoff on October 13 in Hana, Maui. First held in 1990, the cookoff became an annual event in 2003. This popular community program is now a tasty part of the Aloha Festivals, a statewide celebration of Hawai'i's culture, music, dance and history. The cookoff is held to encourage the creative use of breadfruit as a food, involve the local community, and most important, to popularize breadfruit and encourage islanders to grow and use this nutritious and versatile staple food in their daily diet.
Kahanu Garden maintains more than 120 breadfruit varieties in its field genebank. These provide a diverse array of flavors, textures, and cooking qualitities for culinary experimentation. Fresh fruits from selected varieties in the collection are provided to cookoff participants. This year, 25 dishes were created in four categories: soups and salads, appetizers, main dishes, and desserts. The five judges have the delectable task of tasting and assessing each dish for flavor, appearance, and creativity. Judging is a popular assignment; and this year the judges included a retired chef, a Hana resident, the head of a local cultural group, and the Director of Kahanu Garden.
1st, 2nd, and 3rd place ribbons are given in each category and a grand prize is given for the most outstanding dish. The most original dish is also awarded a prize. Local businesses and individuals support the contest by contributing cash, t-shirts, handicrafts, and services. All of the winners receive a cash prize and a donated gift. The Grand Prize Winner was treated to a 2-night stay at one of Maui’s resort hotels for her award-winning ‘ulu seafood chowder.
The contest is gaining popularity each year and the contestants work hard to create delicious award-winning recipes. The competition and recognition inspire the participants to prepare breadfruit in new and creative ways. Fruits are used at all stages of maturity, from small and immature—about the size of a golf ball—to starchy mature to soft and ripe. A sampling of dishes created for the ‘ulu cookoff includes spring rolls, wontons, chowder, stew, fritters, doughnuts, ‘ulu bread, fruit salad, tuna patties, corn beef hash, ‘ulu shrimp cakes, ice cream, and much more. We now have more than 100 recipes utilizing breadfruit.
These delectable dishes demonstrate that breadfruit can be the centerpiece of island meals in myriad forms. It can be much more than just a starchy staple served baked or boiled. Why use imported white potatoes or pasta when breadfruit is available? The ubiquitous mayonnaise-macaroni salad is easily made with breadfruit (and is more flavorful). Restaurants and food vendors can incorporate breadfruit into various dishes on their menus, from soups to desserts. Many visitors to the islands want to try local foods, so give them a taste of breadfruit in a familiar dish, and support local farmers and crop diversity.
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