Jackfruit – jack of all trades

Posted on 2 min read

If you never tried this fruit before, you probably should consider trying to locate it at your nearest Asian (or regular) market and get one. New sensations are assured. Ok, we sold this idea to you, but what exactly is a jackfruit? It’s a so-called multiple fruit, like pineapple, formed from the fusion of many flowers. It’s in the same species as fig and breadfruit family. It’s largely cultivated through tropical regions of the world and it’s very popular in Asia (it originated in the rainforests of Malaysia). Sri Lanka and Bangladesh love jackfruit so much, it’s a national fruit there. It’s so widespread you can easily eat it throughout the day in both savory and sweet dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Jackfruit has a hard shell with what looks like little hexagonal pimples. But inside is beautifully petal-like, juicy, lush, firm, yellowish flesh with a strong aroma. Some describe it as that of pineapple or banana but with a swift of a garlicky odor. It’s not very potent though, some folks don’t even register it. But it may be one of the reasons why jackfruit is used as a meat alternative. Another reason is that its stringy meat-like texture really works well in curries and stews taking up all the flavors. For such preparations, unripe jackfruit is usually used. It has more of a neutral flavor, that’s why it works great in savory dishes. Mix it with pulled pork, grilled chicken, or classic French pot-au-feu to get things really going. Some vegans even make pulled meat out of the fruit itself and eat tex-mex, teriyaki, or BBQ style.

But, of course, you should try it as is first. Mix jackfruit with random berries and fruits, top your preparation with some condensed milk and there you have it – the most delicious breakfast in a minute. Probably two minutes as you’ll need to take the seeds out of the flesh…

Indians love to make chakkavaratty. Even if you can’t read and pronounce it, you’ll still be able to make one. It’s a simple jam made with ghee and jaggery, i.e. clarified butter and cane or palm sugar. Want a savory version? Not a big deal. Just cook jackfruit in coconut milk and eat with rice like Philippians do. It’s really one of the most versatile, delicious, nutritious, and bright fruits. And it works both savory and sweet. Gotta love it.

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