Jack Fruit

December 19th, 2011 | Fruit Maven

If you were the kid that painted glue on the palm of your hand so you could peel it off like dead skin, then this is the fruit for you!

I don’t generally associate glue with fruit. It just doesn’t cross my mind. So nothing about the fruit I picked up this weekend made me think I would be permanently bonded to it. Being the Fruit Maven, you might be inclined to believe that I know a thing or two about fruit. That’s what I tend to think. So when I encounter new fruit, I don’t generally do a lot of research first. I like to experience the fruit for myself before I read up on it. I would say 90% of the time, this method works just fine. But every now and then I realize I should probably take a few cues from the more experienced before I dive right in to something.
jackfruit
Case in point — the jack fruit. This a honker of a fruit. It’s huge and heavy (the one I had was about 20 lbs.) and has a hard outer skin, reminiscent of a young pinecone. I had tasted one of the arils (fleshy bits that you eat) in the past that a coworker had sliced up and it tasted tender and delicious with a nice musky, tropical fragrance. How hard could it be to cut one up myself? So I got out my chefs knife and convinced my friend to slice in to it (ah haha, I’m smart enough not to do it myself). Then we found the latex, or should I say super glue. It was insane. Everything started sticking together — fingers, knives, fruit, all of it. Soap didn’t even begin to address it. Yikes. That’s when I turned to the internet. One site said to use the smooth paper from a magazine to wipe away the latex. Sounded simple enough so I tried it. I ended up with a perfume ad stuck to my palm and no real answer when my friend walked back in the room, “What are you doing to that magazine?” Um…

Needless to say, if you end up with a jackfruit on your table or decide you want to buy one and give it a go, I highly recommend watching a pro do it first. I posted one of the most informative videos below about slicing in to it and getting all the way to the good stuff. It’s an adventure for sure. I am pretty sure two of my fingers are now permanently webbed.

cut-jackfruit-chart
APPEARANCE Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Rather large, oval fruit bigger than a watermelon with spiky, hard skin. Inside consists of a core, rags (fibrous bits that surround the part you eat), arils (the fleshy edible section), the latex (oil absolutely everything that touches it), and seeds (can be roasted like chestnuts – though I’ve never done this. But I have never roasted chestnuts either despite annually singing about doing it.)

AROMA Rating: ★★★★★

Powerfully fragrant, which I understand only gets more pungent (with a hint of onions) when perfectly ripe. I think this one was slightly under-ripe so the fragrance was relatively mellow and an ideal combination of pineapple and mango.

TEXTURE Rating: ★★★½☆

Somewhat crunchy but without the snap. Has a dense texture with some give to it and is slightly fibrous. I have tried one in the past that was much softer and a little juicier. There are lots of different varieties that provide different textures.

TASTE Rating: ★★★★★

Tastes pretty close to how it smells – a lovely combination of tropical fruit with mango and pineapple at the forefront.

OVERALL Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

The jackfruit is the largest tree bearing fruit in the world ranging from 10-100+ lbs. The flavor is absolutely delicious, but not exactly worth the work unless you make a party out of it. My strongest recommendation would be to befriend someone who grew up eating these and likes to cut in to them and do all the work, then just pop over and eat some. Also, invite me.

FRUIT
Jackfruit
PEAK
Summer, Fall (this one was likely shipped in)
PURCHASED
Specialty Asian Fruit Shop
VARIETY
Unknown
GROWN
Unknown

JACKFRUIT RECIPES

BBQ Pulled Jackfruit Sandwich (WOW)
Jackfruit Curry
Jackfruit Pancakes

COMMENTS

Have you tried cutting in to a jackfruit? How did it go? Did you accidentally glue your hand to something? Do tell…

2 Comments

Leave a Comment

  • Sparkina Sep 12, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Jackfruit is available canned. I’ve had it and it tasted all kinds of divine — and no latex-glue mess. Sorry, but this is the one produce item where canned may be the way to go

  • VV Sep 13, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Wow, that is an exotic look, inside and out. If you ever meet up with a Vegetable Maven, you can “bond” over latex. Well, okra oozes something like latex too.

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