Monday, August 09, 2021

Artocarpus integer (cempedak)

Artocarpus integer L., also known as A. champeden (Thunb.) Merr., belongs to the family Moraceae. The name of the genus Artocarpus is derived from the Greek words artos which means bread and carpos which means fruit.

Artocarpus integer is a large tree with a dense crown, reaching a height of 15 m or more; the cylindrical stem is rounded at the ends; bark grey-brown to dark brown with warty excrescences; blaze pale pink to yellow, exuding a copious milky latex when cut.

Depending on the country and language, ‘cempedak’ as it is called in Malaysia, is known with different vernacular names such as ‘Champada’ in Thailand and ‘Sonekadat’ in Myanmar. In Brunei, the fruit is locally known as ‘Tibadak’.

The fruit is similar to jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus), yet smaller in size and stronger in smell. Fruits cylindrical to almost globose; 20-35 x 10-15 cm; yellowish or brown to orange-green; they hang on short, thick stalks from stems of large branches; each fruit contains many kidney-shaped seeds with a thin, white coriacous testa.

The flesh is normally eaten fresh, deep fried into fritters, processed into a refreshing juice, dried into chips or creamed to make jams and cakes.

Unripe ‘cempedak’ fruit is consumed as a vegetable and cooked in coconut milk, and eaten along with other vegetables, or in soup. The seed is either roasted or boiled in salty water; it is a popular delicacy amongst the Malayan jungle tribes.
Artocarpus integer (cempedak)

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