What is Jackfruit
Jackfruit has been popular in Asian countries like India and Thailand for hundreds of years, and it continues to be enjoyed by millions of people today around the world. Originating in South India, it’s grown in tropical regions throughout Southeast Asia, Central America, Australia, and Africa; so if you’re traveling there or have family from that part of the world, chances are you’ll be able to try this exotic fruit!
Many people are unfamiliar with jackfruit, even though it’s been cultivated for at least 5,000 years. Native to South India, it grows on large trees and has two different types of fruit: a ripe fleshy fruit that is eaten raw or made into preserves and a starchy fruit (jack fruits) that can be boiled or roasted. The seeds are also edible when cooked. It was originally named after Dr. John (Jack) Payne, a physician and amateur botanist from Calcutta in 1750. The species name ficifolia is Latin for fig-leaved; another common name for it is Indian fig. You may also see it referred to as green jack-fruit or sometimes simply jack or jackfruit!
How Does it Taste?
The taste of jackfruit is similar to a combination of banana and pineapple. The meat is firm, yet soft and stringy. If you’re trying it for the first time, you might want to eat it raw in a salad or make a puree out of it. Some people say that jackfruit tastes like tropical bubble gum because of its jelly-like consistency. Because many parts of jackfruit are edible, chefs have started using it as an alternative meat source in their dishes. It can replace most types of meat but cannot imitate certain textures and flavors that come from more common meats such as chicken or pork.
What are the Health Benefits of Jackfruit?
Unlike many fruits, jackfruit has very little sugar. Instead, it contains a unique mix of complex sugars, protein, and dietary fibre. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6. This makes jackfruit an important part of a healthy diet for diabetics or those looking to lose weight. In addition to its nutritional value, jackfruit is also known for its cooling effect on blood pressure and body temperature. For these reasons, it is often consumed by pregnant women in India.
What are its Uses?
In Asian countries, it is commonly used as a meat substitute. The pulp of ripe jackfruit, canned and packaged in brine or water, can be used in curries and other recipes. It has a flavour similar to pork. Unripe fruits are used fresh in curries and desserts while roasted seeds may be eaten as snacks. An edible gum called gula Jawa (or Jawa gula) made from tragacanth is produced from its sap in Indonesia; no additional flavouring or colouring is required for the final product. The bark fibres are mixed with fiber from other sources, such as coconut husk, guava bark, or banana trunk; then hand-twisted and woven into mats for roofing purposes.
How Do I Select Fresh, Quality Fruit?
The best way to choose fresh fruit is by smelling it. If you smell a strong, sweet smell when you hold a piece of fruit up against your nose, chances are good that it’s ripe and ready for consumption. Of course, the smell isn’t always an option. If not, look for plump fruit with soft, smooth skin; avoid purchasing any that seem bruised or overripe. When you get your fresh produce home, keep it in cool places (not refrigerators) so that it can stay fresh longer; store bananas separately from other fruits and vegetables so that they don’t release ethylene gas into nearby produce and cause them to spoil more quickly.
So how is it grown? Once a seed is planted, it will take several years before it bears fruit. There are two main types of jackfruits: monoembryonic and polyembryonic. The monoembryonic species bears many small fruits at once, while the polyembryonic variety produces fewer but larger fruits. These two types of jackfruits require different cultivation methods since their fruiting patterns differ so much. Polyembryonic trees are usually grown on trees, while monoembryonic plants are usually grown on ground level. However, growers can choose to combine both techniques for one tree for certain varieties of jackfruit if they so choose.
Are There Any Side Effects from Consuming?
Some people have an allergic reaction to jackfruit, usually in a mild form. These reactions are usually temporary and are limited to itching or swelling of the skin. Never eat raw jackfruit because it may contain harmful toxins that can cause illness or even death. It is best to consult your doctor before eating jackfruit for the first time.
Always buy young jackfruits as they are less likely to cause an allergic reaction. You can also soak ripe fruit in water overnight and consume it the next day without any side effects. If you have a medical condition, it is advisable not to consume jackfruits without consulting a doctor first as there might be an interaction between the medicine you take and nutrients present in jackfruits