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Nov 29, 2003 12:21 AM

Breadfruit in Chicago

  • a

I have in-laws in town who, after various trips to specialized Chicago markets, believe anything can be found here, and have challenged me to find fresh breadfruit. I'm not even quite sure what this is, though I gather it's some Caribbean starch. Any suggestions?



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  1. Try asking for breadfruit in Spanish markets by the name "panipen" with accent on last syllable, or "panas". I have seen it at Edgewater Produce on N Clark just south of Bryn Mawr; don't know whether it may be seasonal. You might also try the pan-Asian produce department at Broadway Market in the strip mall across Broadway from Uptown Post Office just north of Lawrence. Also, try the little Afro-Caribbean place on N Broadway just south of Foster, International Market, which carries tropical produce. Then there is always North Water Market at Devon and Talman, where the vast array of intriguing and mysterious produce is guaranteed to make any native American cook feel culturally stupid.

    3 Replies
    1. re: N Tocus

      This is actually a good time to be looking for breadfruit. I remember seeing them around this time in past years. I have also seen roasted (fresh) breadfruit being offered at African/Jamaican open-air festivals. Bec of the rich Caribbean (Garifuna, Jamaican, etc) and African presence in the far north side, I would also start my search in Rogers Park or at Old World/New World Markets. Let me know when it's found.

      1. re: RST's at 7401 N. Clark St. Phone # is 773-262-3663.

        there's also a place downtown in Skokie which has an aabsolutely enormous ethnic produce section, as well as a great fresh fish selection (including head-on shrimp) and products of virtually every ethnicity you could desire, but the name of it has slipped my mind. It's on Oakton, on the south side of the street going west. I'll try to get the name and number ASAP.

        1. re: peg

          I called them early Saturday, actually, and they said they didn't have it. The woman I spoke with said they buy it when it's available, but it wasn't at the most recent market. I was referred there by a man at the N Tocus recommended Edgewater Produce, who said they also often carry it buy not now.

          The in-laws are gone now, but perhaps next time. I still would like to find some and cook it, since I've never had it, and maybe I'll be able to conjure up my wife's old memories of the West Indies.

          If anyone has any good ideas on breadfruit preparation, please post to the General Board, as I'd love to see them.



    2. Hi Aaron... I've found a very indepth webpage originating from Purdue University about the breadfruit - you can find it at the link below. It may give one insight on where to begin searching for it in the city - I wish I knew where one could be found. I will keep my ears open. Good luck in your pursuit - and happy holidays!


      1. The original comment has been removed
          1. re: elytropical

            Do you notice that the OP was looking for breadfruit 10 years ago?

            1. re: chicgail

              I did but I still posted an answer for other people that like me found this post when searching for breadfruit.

              1. re: elytropical

                I got breadfruit from Armitage Produce once (by far the most well-stocked boricua supermarket in the city), but the quality was not quite there. Perhaps I just picked a bad one.