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Kamansi/Breadnuts: A Local Food Alternative




Rainy days has come in the eastern side of Mindanao Island (September) and most of the abandoned /uncollected breadnut or kamansi are starting to fall from its tree. Bored with the usual panaderia bread,  our indigent helper started collecting fallen  and over ripe breadnuts on the roadside to be cooked as our alternative snacks. She mentioned that this fruit is very much valuable to them as it an alternative to the common staple food in the table at times when no rice or palay is available in the basket.

Since it was already ripe and the flesh can no longer be used to make a ginataan (dish with coconut milk), we collected the seeds, washed and boiled it.  Eating the seeds was like tasting the common and famous chestnut and almost similar to a boiled jackfruit seeds (Artocarpus heterophyllus). Consuming 5-10 seeds is actually sufficient to satisfy one’s hunger as it is heavy loaded with protein, enough carbohydrates and little fats  which is enough to sustain your energy requirement to survive the day.


Kamansi or Artocarpus camansi is not the same as the breadfruit rimas or Artocarpus altilis. It is said that this fruit is an endemic to Papua New Guinea but with wide distribution due to domestication during the times of our early ancestors in the Pacific Region it is also argued that it could have also originated from the Philippines and Indonesia.

This alternative staple food came from a single stemmed ever green tree that can grow up to 100 feet tall. The large leaves range from 40-60 cm long and usually with 4-6 lobes .The stem has a grayish bark full of latex when cut. The fruit is ovoid with an average of 12 cm in diameter and less than a kilo in weight. Seeds are rounded or flattened that averaged from 12-150 per fruit.

(Description is paraphrased from  http://www.worldagroforestry.org/ )

In the Philippines, the flesh of the immature breadnut fruit is commonly served as dish on the table. It is thinly sliced, boiled with coconut milk, added with little salt and some available spices available in the kitchen.

2 comments :

  1. This breadnut is totally alien to me. I guess there are still many things to discover about food in our country alone.

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  2. these souces are taken for granted because of the "institutionalized food" .. --merely business ... If the gov's campaign is put into full force , there is no scarcity of food and prices will be stable as there will be alternatives for every Filipino's plate

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