Jackfruit is a nutritional bonanza: high in protein, potassium and vitamin B, but more importantly Jackfruit tastes bloody delicious. A Jackfruit's flavour and texture is like nothing else you will ever taste, the flavour falls somewhere between a pineapple and banana with hints of mango; the texture, depending on the ripeness of the fruit, can be mildly chewy like a soft gummy bear or as juicy as a succulent scallop!
Jackfruit is believed to have originated in Southern India thousands of years ago, but is now widely cultivated in tropical regions around the world: SE Asia, South America, Australia and the Caribbean. Jackfruit grows on trees (aptly named Jackfruit trees!). A single Jackfruit tree can produce 2 to 3 tonnes of fruit per year, with a single Jackfruit growing up to 50 kg, making it the world's biggest fruit!
As well as a delicious fruit to snack on, Jackfruit is extremely versatile. It has the ability to take on any flavour however manages to keep a lovely texture. Jackfruit meat will complement whatever dish you add it to, from quesadillas or chilli to an alternative for pulled pork. As with any fruit, Jackfruit can be enjoyed fresh while it is sweet and juicy. You can add it to smoothies, mix it with yogurt or even chopped and sprinkled over ice cream.
Jackfruits are usually sold immature, and unripe, these will be green and firm, hence the name Green Jackfruit. As the fruit ripens dark patches appear and a yellow colour will develop you may also find a very distinct and strong fruity smell emerges. The prickly skin of the fruit should give, indicating that the Jackfruit is ready to eat. To accelerate the ripening process, place the Jackfruit in a warm sunny area. To slow the ripening process, Jackfruit may be stored in the refrigerator.
The yummy flesh isn't the only part of the enormous Jackfruit that is edible -- you can also eat the seeds they are packed full of nutrition. You can cook Jackfruit seeds in three different ways, roasted, turned into flour or boiled. Not only are Jackfruit seeds high in protein, you can use Jackfruit seeds to make natural face mask You just need to soak the dry seed with some milk and honey and grind it into a fine paste.
Jackfruit is available year round. If you can't find it fresh, it's always available in canned sections of Asian supermarkets or some Indian grocers in the UK carry it.