Jackfruit! - One of These Wonderful Tasting Fruits Could Serve a Banquet

in food •  3 years ago  (edited)

Artocarpus heterophyllus, jackfruit, jakfruit, aca, nangka, is in the moraceae family, along with Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis), Breadnut (A. altilis 'Seminifera'), Champedak (A. integer), Lakoocha (A. lakoocha) and Marang (A. odoratissimus).


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Distant affinity includes Figs (Ficus spp.), Mulberries (Morus spp.) and African Breadfruit (Treculia african). I have to admit, jackfruit never crossed my mind when I planted figs and mulberries.

The tree originates in India, but spread throughout Asia and into South America early on. Today it's found in Australia and the US as well.


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In the US they seem to be relegated to southern Florida and southern California, though there may be some anywhere in the south that doesn't get deep freezes.

Hardiness is only to about 27 F, but even that will kill off smaller branches. Young trees can't handle sub-freezing temperatures, so should be covered on colder nights.

The tree can grow to be quite massive, sometimes compared to the majestic eastern oak of the US. However, in areas where it's stressed by cold, such as in the US, its size will be greatly reduced.

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Being a tropical tree, they love water and have no drought tolerance, but need good drainage. Wet feet will cause root rot. It's a pretty tough combination for those of us in the Southwest US, but might work well in areas of the Southeast.

If you decide to try to grow these, either grow from seed where you want them or plan on transplanting as soon as or before four leaves form. Because they have an aggressive taproot, you don't want to wait any longer. Air layering has been very successful and cuttings have seen some success.

The fruit is just plain awesome looking. The skin is a little pliable, but has spines all over it. They're not too sharp, but sharp enough to hurt if pressed hard or suddenly.

One thing that you'll see in this video is that the flies were super interested. Maybe it's because they're so aromatic, I don't know. I was really excited to try this one, as may be evident in the video. And I wasn't disappointed. Here's the video... plus my dog's first taste.


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These can be monsters, reaching over 80 pounds and a yard in length. As you saw, there are "bulbs" that are formed around the seeds that are the edible portion of the fruit. The fibery parts between these bulbs can be eaten, but they're a little tough, sort of like tough pineapple, and not nearly as flavorful as the bulbs, which are incredibly tender and sweet.

The fruit is green to yellowish and the exterior flexible when ripe. Before opening, it emits an odd odor akin to cooked onions. But the open fruit smells wonderful, sort of like pineapple and mango.

From the California Rare Fruit Growers:

Immature fruit is boiled, fried, or roasted. Chunks are cooked in lightly salted water until tender and then served. The only handicap is copious gummy latex which accumulates on utensils and hands unless they are first rubbed with cooking oil. The seeds can also be boiled or roasted and eaten similar to chestnuts. In Southeast Asia dried slices of unripe jackfruit are sold in the markets. The ripe bulbs, fermented and then distilled, produce a potent liquor.



I recorded my video right before recording me eating one of @papa-pepper's hot peppers. While not quite the same, he tried this wonderful fruit too and recorded his experience. Check it out!

His description was a bit different than mine, with me not really getting the astringent or persimmon flavor. There are two main varieties though, plus several cultivars, so it could have simply been a varietal difference.

I found this GIF on GIPHY that seems to be a recipe for sauteed jackfruit. It didn't come with any instructions other than what you see in the sequence. :)

@papa-pepper also pointed out that the seeds can be roasted, sort of like chestnuts, so I looked it up. It turns out that it's very simple. You can boil them in water for 10-15 minutes, bake them at 400 F for 20 minutes or coock them on medium/high heat in a cast iron skillet. When you can easily stick a fork in 'em, they're ready. Just remove the shell and enjoy.

As we check out these different fruits, some are great, some are moderate and some may merely offer some nutritional or medicinal value. Regardless, it's fun to try them and experience each one. In the case of jackfruit, I can't recommend it enough. It's not my favorite, but high on the list. And it's versatility is great. Something really cool is that just one of these could offer a wonderful fruit tasting experience for a large group of people, especially if cut up and seeds roasted prior.

The price should be under $1 a pound. If you see one, pick it up. You surely won't regret it.

Steemin' on,

Special appearance from
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Another Joe


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Wow, @papapepper, you lucked out buying a jackfruit that was so good. I have bought fresh jackfruit several times and none of them were good. I buy canned jackfruit by the case though. :) Thanks for the article @anotherjoe!

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Thank you!!

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Yeah @deanna2000, this one was excellent, so I had a great initial experience with the Jackfruit!

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This is one of the fruits we have on our half acre in Panama, I think. They call it chama and no one up there seems to like it. I think it's jackfruit, rather than breadfruit but I'll have to look into it.

My wife really does not like the smell.

Definitely interesting fruit, and I can't say that I have tried it.

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It'd be interesting to find out what you have. Some people complain about the smell when they're not cut. I guess that makes them less attractive to predators, though I have seen pictures of where a bird has pecked a large hole in them. When you cut them open, they smell good. If you watched the video, the flies liked the smell too. It was crazy how quickly they started buzzing around.
I've heard breadfruit is awesome, but it's still on my list. Durian is similar on the outside too. I have one, but haven't cut into it yet.
Love your interaction on these articles. Thanks!!

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Yeah, I'll definitely get a photo next time or have a family member get me a photo. I'm interested to research it and find out.

Where our house is (or, really, the house we had built for her mom) on about 1/2 acre we have just about every tropical fruit one could (or, at least, I could) think of and that, or something much like that, is definitely one of them.

Interesting looking fruit, never heard of it before. Sort of looks like a cross between a pumpkin and cantaloupe or melon!

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lol, but it grows on trees!!

I'm happy to introduce it to you.

Ohh, this is awesome to see, learned a lot in one post! Crazy timing too, in the produce section this week I was petting the outside of one trying to remember which it was. I'm like a kid in a candy store when I see a new fruit, then my hubby has to slap my hand away and tell me no. Haha. I didn't discover Pomelos until last year, and that's a new fave.

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I tried pomelo for the first time just recently, Will post on it too. But it was a little disappointing to me. Maybe mine wasn't at the optimal ripeness. I have no idea how to pick one.

The durian looks similar to the jackfruit. I'm going to do one on it soon as well. Right now I have no clue what's inside.

Fruit is so awesome, but too much tends to congregate around the waste line. My wife understands why I do this, but she wishes I wouldn't. Need to do more digging in the yard to offset the fruit fancies. :)

That is amazing that it can weight 80 lbs and still hang from the tree without breaking the branches...

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Haha, I know!! The stem that holds it is bigger than some tree trunks, over an inch thick. With those spines on it, though they're not bad, a big one like that would be tough to carry too.

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But there is this thing called gravity... it defies it! :)

I do enjoy eating jack fruits. The seeds after being cooked are delicious too.

I've had it a few times! It's delicious!

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Agreed!

It's so nice to be able to watch me eat my first jackfruit online!

I brought some over to @noganoo yesterday and we put some in the dehydrator. We will see how that turns out.

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@papa-pepper you should have cut it this way

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    How do your hands feel? sticky?
    @anotherjoe I miss that - my grandparents had several of those in the yard in Bicol and we could tell when the jackfruit is ripe - you could smell it 5 meters away. We just wait for it to drop off the tree. Sometimes, we knock on it and pick it when it sounds like a gas-filled stomach :D.
    I love eating that and my cousins and I would sit in circles peeling those delicious flesh off the casing and my only male cousin in my dad's side would often joke - his hands smell like that of a stinky armpit after eating jackfruits. It does have a strong smell but nothing compared to a durian.
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Yeah, @anotherjoe said that there was a specific way to open it, but sometimes winging it is more my style. I'm going to stop over at the home of @noganoo later to see how they dehydrated!.

Thanks!

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I only had a slice, so didn't have so much to consume. And I didn't get many seeds, so I'm not sure I want to bake/boil/roast them. I might try to grow them instead. :)

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I missed that "special appearance" part at the bottom earlier.

Thanks, and excellent post!

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I got a lot of seeds, and I've only gone through about a third of it so far.

@noganoo already planted about 10 of them, and three were already sprouting.

Amazing fruit, really big! I didn´t know it before, thanks for sharing.

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You're welcome. Thank you!