Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

madrai (pronounced mandrai) is the Fijian word for breadfruit, and also for a fermented product found in various of the Oceanic Islands.

The traditional way of using breadfruit in Fiji was to make the fermented product, which was also to be found in Samoa. Slightly unripe breadfruit was packed into a pit lined with leaves and covered with soil. After a fermentation of four or five weeks, the breadfruit had turned into a doughlike paste, which was then kneaded, deseeded, formed into patties and baked in coconut-smeared leaves in an earth oven (see new Zealand). The food which emerged was not unlike bread. Breadfruit has been known to ferment for up to a year in one of these Polynesian pits.