It’s jackfruit season. The sellers and farmers are out in force along the roadside and in villages selling these mighty spikey fruits. They are huge… and I mean huge… so how they defy gravity and manage to stay on a tree with the full weight of the fruit is truly baffling.
What is Jackfruit?
Jackfruit is part of the fig and breadfruit family native to the Western Ghats of India and found all over South East Asia. It is the national fruit of Bangladesh . It is the largest tree fruit. Large jackfruits weigh up to 35kgs (yes you did read that correctly, 35kgs!) and up to 90cm in length. A jackfruit tree can produce 100 to 200 fruits a year. You seriously don’t want to be underneath one of these when they fall from the tree!
It is a strange looking fruit; The skin is green and spikey, very thick and hard. It takes a sharp knife, oil and patience to cut through to the yellow soft stoned fruit inside. The hands and knife are covered with oil as the sticky pulp inside would be difficult to wash off otherwise. The smell is something else and not in a good way. It hits your nostrils and stays there for a long time after you wish it had gone. Perhaps this is why jackfruit is always cut outside. The smell permeates the air for a long time. The soft yellow fruit has its own sweet flavour and like nothing else I have tasted in Western Europe.
It is a very versatile fruit and as well as being a popular roadside snack it is used to make chips, jams, pickles, curries, wine and flour. We have just eaten it as a snack. There is a huge amount of fruit inside a jackfruit so we always share. (You’d have to be a real jackfruit addict to get through a whole one on your own.) As Manohar (our G4S driver) cut our fruit for us he was delighted to take home most of it for his family – his daughters love it.
Jackfruit – use it as a fruit, vegetable or dessert, and enjoy.