The INSIDER Summary:
• Jackfruit is native to Southeast Asia and is the world’s largest tree-borne fruit.
• It can be eaten raw, but when eaten cooked, it tastes just like meat.
• One jackfruit is very nutritious; its seeds contain iron, calcium, protein, and potassium.
This year was all about the meatless, bleeding burger.
Next year, it looks like the hot meat substitute will be jackfruit.
Yes, you read that right. A fruit that grows on a tree actually tastes surprisingly like meat.
According to Pinterest, searches for recipes using jackfruit have increased 420%.
Keep scrolling to find out what you need to know about this miracle fruit.
Jackfruits are huge and grow on trees.
One single jackfruit can range in weight from 10 to 100 pounds, making it the largest tree-borne fruit in the world. The trees that the fruit grows on are huge too, often reaching 30 to 50 feet in height. They produce an impressive 150 jackfruits over their two harvest seasons every year.
Jackfruit is native to South and Southeast Asia.
According to NPR, it’s believed that jackfruit first originated in India. It’s also common in Thailand, Malaysia, and Bangladesh, where it’s considered the national fruit.
The name jackfruit comes from the Indian language.
In Southern India, jackfruit is referred to as “chakka pazham.” The Portuguese adapted that name to “jaca,” which is probably how we got to jackfruit.
It’s not very common in the US.
It’s not that easy to find the fruit in the US. In New York City, vendors in Chinatown sell jackfruit at $2 or $2.50 per pound. In other places like Chicago and Florida, Asian markets offer the fruit. Online, jackfruit can be purchased bottled, canned, or packed in sugar syrup.
Jackfruits are really nutritious.
Crack open a jackfruit and you’ll find hundreds of seeds inside. These seeds provide calcium, iron, protein, and potassium, which is why the fruit has been called a “miracle crop,” with the potential to nourish people and save lives around the world.
Besides the seeds, the meat of the fruit also provides Vitamin C. There are about 95 calories in one fifth of a pound of the fruit. So if each jackfruit is at least 10 pounds, that’s a lot of good calories and nutrients in just one piece of fruit.
Jackfruit tastes sweet when eaten raw and ripe.
When it’s raw and ripe, the meat of a jackfruit is similar in colour to pineapple. People say it’s thick and has a sweet taste, like a cross between a pineapple and a pear.
But cook the fruit for a few hours, and it will taste surprisingly like meat, which is why it’s used as a meat substitute in dishes like nachos and tacos.
Jackfruit can be eaten ripe and unripe, cooked and raw.
Unlike some fruits, jackfruit can be eaten both when it’s unripe and when it’s ripe. In Southeast Asia, jackfruit is made into chips, stir fry, juice, curry, and even ice cream. You can also barbecue the fruit or fry it. Its texture is said to be just like pulled pork when barbecued.
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