Devon Evans, Gleaner Writer
OCHO RIOS, St. Ann:
IT WAS the first of its kind in the community, but one thing for sure, the inaugural Breadfruit Festival held in Jeffrey Town, St. Mary on Sunday August 28, has a bright future.
It took the organisers, the Jeffrey Town Farmers' Association only two months to prepare for the event so that it could coincide with the annual breadfruit season and the response from vendors and patrons was overwhelming.
There was breadfruit, breadfruit and more breadfruit prepared in a wide variety of recipes ranging from the customary roast breadfruit to cakes, puddings, muffins, cookies and the now popular punch made from the ripe breadfruit fruit.
There was also candied breadfruit, which found favour with the scores of children in attendance.
Another interesting delicacy was breadfruit chips served with avocado dip and this has already found favour among those on the cocktail circuit.
The St. Mary branch of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) ensured that there were enough samples to give away throughout the day. Their fruit cake, pudding and ginger bread samples also had many delighted takers.
Strategically located beside RADA was the Suppligen booth with free samples of the popular drink.
The Breadfruit Festival was nostalgic for the older folks who got the opportunity to again enjoy some breadfruit dishes which they had almost forgotten. Roast breadfruit with run dung; corned pork; with jerked/fried chicken along with jerked/fried fish, were among the favourites. These dishes were complimented with a choice of breadfruit salads and a drink of blended breadfruit punch.
For younger folks, the festival was an opportunity to learn about the various uses of this widely grown fruit and even a little history of the plant, which was first introduced on the island in February 1793.
AN ANNUAL EVENT
President of the Jeffrey Town Farmers' Association, Wordsworth Gordon, was smiling all over as he spoke with Food. "We are happy with this wonderful turn-out in spite of the short notice," he remarked.
He added "We conceptualised it in April, and in June we decided that we would be going ahead with it."
Mr. Gordon said the festival would now become an annual event and he will be trying to have it included in the Jamaica Agriculture Society (JAS's) official calendar of events.
JAS Branch President for St. Mary, Clement Campbell praised the people of Jeffrey Town for successfully organising the festival and offered the continued support of the JAS.
Margaret Paul, an elderly resident of Jeffrey Town, who also operated a stall on the grounds, described the festival as a wonderful and refreshing idea that will do well for the development of the area.