Come and try a fruit named Jack – Jackfruit

Jackfruit, scary to look at but when you get over the size (35kg), and through the spikes, the golden flesh is delicious! I tasted it’s ripe, sweet seeds in its home of Southern India a couple of years ago.

a picture of ripe jackfruit
Ripe jackfruit

It’s become trendy, as in its unripe and green state it hasn’t much flavour, is fibrous and is being used for its meat like texture in vegetarian and vegan dishes. The Guardian wrote about it in 2015 but with the surge in veggie options (The 3rd Veggie Pret recently opened, Wagamamas with their first vegetarian + vegan menu, and the Food Foundations Vegetable Summit) and the continuing rise in flexitarians who want to reduce their weekly intake of meat, but like the texture, it will be coming to a table near you soon!

What does it taste like? The ripe jackfruit seeds taste like very ripe pineapple.  The unripe fruit tastes more like artichoke.

Where can I buy it? For the sweet option try out this from Asda.  Amazon has both the ripe, unripe and fresh, canned and dried versions.

Any recipe suggestions? I have adapted a Malay lamb recipe from the The Ginger Pig Farmhouse Cookbook .  The unripe jackfruit takes on the texture of the slow cooked lamb neck fillets from the original recipe. – Malay jackfruit recipe

And to drink? With this recipe try Empress Ale, a golden ale, craft brewed to complement spiced foods. You can order online at Empress Ale.

Where can I eat it? Go to Mooshies London and try the ‘Pulled Mooshie’ with BBQ sauce and coleslaw. Or a jackfruit Scotch egg with masala mayonnaise in the recently opened Pickled Fruit.  Club Mexicana have a pulled Jackfruit Tinga with pumpkin seed puree, avocado salsa verde and pink onions, at their Shoreditch site.

Top facts – Jackfruit is grown in Southeast Asia, Brazil and Africa in lowland, tropical areas. It is from the fig, mulberry and breadfruit family.

Environmental – A mature tree can produce 100 to 200 fruits per year. It is resistant to pests and drought. It is a meal in one, green unripe for savoury dishes, ripe for desserts and the flour can be used for anything from cookies to chapattis.

Nutritional facts per 100g – 0.2% total fat, 1.5g of dietary fibre and 1.7g of protein, it is a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C and high in potassium.