The wondrous, magical jackfruit.
Never heard of it? Well you’ve been missing out on what could be one of the most delicious and nutritious fruits in the world. It is rich in protein, dietary fiber, vitamin A, B, C, potassium, magnesium and iron but low in calories. It’s the largest tree-borne fruit known to man, weighing anywhere from 1 pound to almost 100 pounds! Imagine a fruit that weighs more than a large dog but tastes like bubblegum, mango, papaya and pineapple all rolled into one. Indigenous to the Southwestern rainforests of India, jackfruit is one of the most versatile fruits in the world. It can be used to make ice cream, main dishes and even as a meat replacement.
I have no doubt in my mind that in the near future, it can and will be one of the best meat alternatives throughout the world. It has the potential to help with global hunger and all it needs is a little push. Did I mention the health benefits of jackfruit are boundless?
Now if you’ve never seen a jackfruit, well they’re not too hard to spot once you know what you’re looking for. And don’t be frightened by its scary appearance. They don’t bite. But you do!
The fruit is green when it’s not ripe yet and is covered with little spikes. The way to tell if it’s ripe or not is when the outside rind is yellow, almost brown in some spots. You can buy it either at Whole Foods or an Asian market, sometimes in already shrink wrapped packages. It used to only be sold in cans but its growing popularity has brought the fruit to a market near you. If you can, try to get it wholesale. Because it is an imported product, it can be a little pricey but it is absolutely worth it.
As far as prepping it goes, you’ll need a pretty decent large or long knife but don’t use your best one. Put a little bit on of coconut oil on the knife before cutting it because jackfruit lets out a milky white sap whenever cut. Be warned the process can be a little messy but once again, so worth it. Here are more detailed instructions on how to prep your jackfruit
Next time you have a party and you want to get people to have fun and try new things, bring a whole jackfruit! You’ll look like a badass when you’re an expert on cutting that baby open and you’ll break up the routine everyone is used to. Why bring the overdone dip or fatty side dish? The insane flavor will leave people speechless and you’ll realize how easy it is to be the life of the party, thanks to one big fruit. Or if you feel like accepting the challenge and cooking with jackfruit, PETA has a great selection of vegan jackfruit recipes.