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image of New West Indian Guide / Nieuwe West-Indische Gids

[First paragraph]Our friend Charlemagne (a.k.a. Émilien), who lives down the road and considers himself a breadfruit connoisseur, says that there's only one other tree in southern Martinique whose fruit compares with ours. From our back porch, during the tree's several flowerings each year, we can reach out and piek low-growing fruit by hand, or with a knife-and-pole contraption cut down a milk-flecked orb from higher up in the broad green leaves. This particular tree may even be descended from the oldest breadfruit in the Caribbean, for Martinique was already blessed with trees, transported from "L'ïle-de-France" (Mauritius), by the time Captain Bligh made his 1791-93 voyage from Polynesia, "bringing breadfruit from what was seen to be a Tree of Life in the islands of Paradise ... the very symbol of a free and unencumbered life ... to feed slaves, the living dead of the Caribbean"(Dening 1992:4, 11).

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