Jackfruit

Ripe Jackfruit

Jackfruit has the honour of being officially the biggest fruit in the world. Unless of course you know of another fruit which can grow to nearly 40 kilograms? Most cultivars here in Sarawak are smaller though, usually around 2-4 kilograms.  I suppose the smaller ones are more convenient to carry, harvest and even to eat before they spoil 😉

The tree is not not as big as Durian though it can still grow to 15 metres or more. However the fruit usually grow all over the tree and are easy to harvest even at the lower levels. Furthermore there is usually a lot more of them than you can possibly know what to do with. The Fruit itself has a thick green skin, with a hexagonal pattern. It is a bright green when unripe and turns a more reddish colour when it ripens. Inside is some fibrous tissue surrounding small fleshy pockets, with a seed in each one. The seed is about the size of a grape.

 

Open Jackruit, ripe, not the yellow/orange colour of the flesh

The fruit can be eaten in three ways. First while it is still green it can be cut open and the inside fibrous tissue and seeds can be boiled in soup. When cooked they taste quite good, like a soft nutty potato. Secondly when the fruit ripens the small fleshy pockets surrounding the seeds can be eaten. They are sweet and a bit floury in flavour. Unfortunately they also have a very unpleasant smell, not as bad as Durian but it is usually enough to put most Europeans of eating it (the smell is not there in unripe fruit). Finally while the fruit is already ripe and the flesh smells, the seeds themselves can still be eaten.  They need to be taken out of the fleshy pocket, sometimes the fruit is left intentionally for the flesh to spoil and come off the seeds easily. The cleaned seeds are then boiled and taste quite good. Like a type of nut.

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