Well, in my folks home, which we have since sold, we used to have mangoes, gooseberry, bananas, breadfruit, coconuts & jackfruits. That’s right mango trees for both the ripe ones and the ‘kannimanga’ type, gooseberry trees, kadachaka (breadfruit) coconut trees – 3 large ones under which my dog used to fertilize with her droppings – and banana trees as well.
The banana leafs also had a purpose ofcourse – when we had sadhyas for Onam or any other special days, we’d cut the leafs, wash them in water and serve the sadhya on them (rice & various curries). Coconuts were for us as well as for selling; mom would use what was needed and sell the extra ones. The same goes for the jackfruit; to tell you the truth we rarely had much of the jackfruit and would instead sell them for a good price. After the first few years my family got tired of jackfruit and we rarely ate the fruit and only used it sparingly in some curries. The one who enjoyed it the most was my late dog Shawny – she had apparently attacked an over ripened jackfruit when she was 2 or 3 years old and seemed to like the taste. She would often eat some of the jackfruit that would fall from the tree when they became ripe and then she wouldn’t be hungry when I’d go to give her her normal food. Funny thing is is how she would leave the big seeds all piled up in a corner and also burp & fart a lot after eating jackfruit (oh it is terrible for gas) and look quite embarrassed about it as well!
My favourites towards my late teens were the breadfruit bajji or fritters which my mother used to make. I’d telling you that there is no better evening snack than some hot home made breadfruit bajji with coffee. Hmmm, hmm. With some ketchup – which you dip the bajjis in and not in the coffee!