It can smell like rotting onions, weigh up to 50 kilos, the skin has a leathery texture and the demand for jackfruit is soaring as a meat-alternative for vegans and vegetarians.
One jackfruit tree can produce up to three tons of food from this huge and utterly unique fruit per year, providing an almost miraculous source of nourishment for people living in tropical countries!
Jackfruit is also increasingly being used in other parts of the world, particularly in the U.S., as a plant-based meat alternative because the young, unripe fruits soak up flavour well and have a stringy, “meat-like” texture when cooked.
When cooked, the Asian fruit resembles the texture of meats such as pork and beef. Jackfruit has now begun to rival traditional meat substitutes such as tofu, Quorn and seitan.
Health stores have pounced on its foodie appeal. It is imported in cans or frozen and can be eaten dried. Before being split open, it can produce an odour like onions, but the flesh inside smells sweet.
Each fruit contains multiple yellow-coloured edible bulbs, while its seeds can be ground into flour.
It has been heralded as a ‘miracle’ food crop because of its abundance in the countries where it grows.
Jackfruit is thought to have originated in India, where it is sometimes seen as an unappetising ‘poor food’. In some areas of the country, up to 75 per cent of jackfruit produced every year goes to waste.
India’s most southerly state, Kerala, is the world’s largest jackfruit supplier with booming exports. The fruit is also grown in Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia.
© Daily Mail