An exotic fruit that can be eaten seeds and all. Excellent roasted, like chestnuts.
The jackfruit is the largest fruit tree in the world. Its name derives from the Portuguese jaca, and was given this name by Portuguese travelers who imported them to Brazil. The term was then anglicized into jackfruit by naturalist Garcia de Orta in 1563. The theory that the name came from Jack William, Scottish botanist from the 1800s is therefore unfounded. In any case, jackfruit has very old roots. Some archaeological findings show that they were already cultivated in India 6000 years ago. Native to Central Asia—India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Malaysia—today they are also cultivated across the rest of the continent, and are even common in certain parts of Australia, Africa and Florida. It’s a special fruit in that it’s not just used for cooking, it can also made into flour and clothing dye (the same one that Buddhist monks use to color their robes), as well as animal feed, and a sticky substance used as a natural adhesive.
Jackfruit can be eaten at two stages: when it’s mature and when it’s still unripe. If eaten when ripe, its flavor would be described as a mix between pineapple, mango and banana with a touch of vanilla. But it’s used in cooking before it ripens to make savory dishes like vegetables. In this case, it has a meat-like texture and people often say the flavor is similar to roasted pork. The seeds have a floury texture much like chestnuts, and can be roasted or stewed.
Did you know
The jackfruit is the world’s largest fruit that grows on trees, and can weigh over 30kg/65lb. Inside, they contain many orange or yellow fruits, with a calore rich pulp that’s high in vitamin C. Jackfruit looks a bit like durian, and is considered a superfood for its notable nutritional value. It’s made of water, carbohydrates and protein, with very little fat. It’s an ideal food for athletes because it’s energizing and a good source of potassium, iron and calcium. In the East, they’re fried or roasted and served with spices. And an alcoholic drink can be made by fermenting its juice.