I have been using the meals.com app to plan our meals for about ten years now, and when we were faced with the dreaded d-word….diabetes, not divorce…I switched over to the vegetarian plan of this meal planning service.
Soon to find myself ordering ingredients and produce that in my previous fifty years of existence, I had never tried…and sometimes never heard of.
One of these foods was the jackfruit.
What is Jackfruit?!
Why was jackfruit one of the first produce items that I had to faimiliarize myself with?!
Because I am from the Deepest Parts of the Deep South…the heart of the Delta…Mississippi…
And i know that absolutely no one can survive life without some sort of barbecue…
So when I read that the texture of the fruit is like my prized shredded meats…and that is often considered a meat substitute by those on vegetarian and vegan diets,, I had to try it for myself…(it’s actually good…but more on that later though)…
The Tree…Jackfruit, like durian, grow on evergreen trees that flower from December until February or March. The termite-proof wood from the jackfruit tree is commonly used to build furniture, doors, windows, roofs, musical instruments, and houses….many claiming that jackfruit wood is superior to teak for building furniture.
Dye made from the jackfruit trees is what is used to give the robes of Buddhist monks their distinctive light-brown color.
The Fruit…Jackfruit have hard, gummy shells that ripen from an initially yellowish-greenish…to a yellow…to a yellowish-brown color.
Jackfruit is similar to the durian that we talked about in a previous post, but have pimples instead of spikes…so they might not be as able to kill you if one plops out of the tree onto your head…lucky us, right?!
Probably not so lucky, since each fruit can weigh up to eighty pounds…and can reach ten to forty inches in length…and six to twenty inches in diameter.
Jackfruit are in season mainly in July and August.
The Taste and Aroma...Jackfruit has a sweet, fruity taste similar to bananas, pineapples, and pears….kind of a cross between all three. Fully ripe jackfruit have a strong pleasant aroma similar to pineapple and banana.
Actually immature jackfruit has a fairly neutral taste that will “take on” the flavor of whatever sauce or seasoning you pair it with…meaning that its stringy consistency when paired with quality barbecue sauce will even convince the die-hard carnivores in your family try a bite…(trust me, my family actually loves jackfruit barbecue sandwiches).
Jackfruit has always been popular in its native Southeast Asia countries—Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Vietnam…but has become a ‘trend” of sorts among vegans and vegetarians in the past decade…people like me who want to cut out meat, but could never imasgine life without pulled barbecue pork sandwiches.