There’s so much I don’t know! Until a couple of years ago, I had never heard of a jackfruit. The link is to Wikipedia but there are many more sites and much more info on the internet so if you’re interested, do a little more research. They’re fascinating fruit. They can grow to be 120 pounds. One article I read said that juicy fruit gum was made to taste like jackfruit but other articles said juicy fruit gum is a combination of flavors, though most people who taste jackfruit for the first time, immediately think it tastes like juicy fruit gum.
I had never heard of jackfruit til several years ago when a friend, whose daughter is a vegetarian, was asking me what I knew about it. Nothing . . never heard of it. She asked me to see if any of our stores had it and I did find the canned jackfruit in Kroger but later, when our United opened, it often has fresh jackfruit, but they’re BIG and expensive. One day we kinda guessed at the weight and it would be about $60 to buy it. We had no idea what it was like so we didn’t get it.
When I was in MO, Vince was in Aldi (every day!) and they had gotten three jackfruit. Vince got one. It was 22 pound and was $1.29 per pound. The manager told Vince if it wasn’t good, he could bring it back, so he risked it. He knew nothing about it but remembered we had debated buying one at United.
The big fruit was pretty green when he bought it. He did some research and found that it needs to get brownish, be a little soft on the outside when you press on it and should be “fragrant” when it’s ready to eat.
This morning ours seemed browner, softer and not overly fragrant but if you used your imagination, you could smell something.
Vince had read how to get into it. There are several ways. You can half it and cut out the edible pulp and remove the edible seeds/arils. Or, you can spiral cut around it and then “skin” it by pulling the hard outer skin off. It has some kind of latex somewhere around the skin. Vince oiled the knives and his hands and he was able to wash it all away but that was one sticky mess.
I’m not sure I have enough strength in my hands to have been able do it. Vince struggled pulling the skin off.
Something about the process reminded me of pulling the meat off a roasted turkey. I don’t know why.
We ended up with 10 pounds of fruit and 2 pounds of seeds. I vacuum sealed most of the fruit in one pound bags. The fruit tastes very similar to a mango but not mushy or overly chewy. This could be my new favorite fruit. It is so delicious! Think about a fruit – cold and juicy – that tastes exactly like juicy fruit gum!
These are the edible seeds. There are several ways to fix them. I boiled these for about 20 minutes. The white outer layer peels off and they look a bit like a Brazil nut but taste somewhere between a chestnut and a potato. I peeled some of the white layers off, cut them into quarters, added a little melted butter and cajun seasoning and they were also good. I’m not sure I would fix those instead of potatoes but since we have them, I’ll definitely incorporate them into our meals/snacks so as not to waste them.
Here’s an article on the potential health benefits of jackfruit. There are also some people who should not eat jackfruit and that’s covered in the article too.
I’m so glad we tried it! We went back to Aldi today and they still had one left so we bought it.