What Is Jackfruit?So, what is jackfruit? It’s right in the name! Jackfruit is a tropical fruit that’s related to breadfruit, mulberries, and figs and originated in South India. They have a hard and spiky outer skin and can be round to roughly pear-shaped. Jackfruit is the largest fruit that grows on trees, and they can be as heavy as 120 pounds! The part of jackfruit that’s edible raw is the aril, the flesh surrounding the seed. The flavor of fresh, ripe jackfruit can best be described as something between a banana and a pineapple. The arils and seeds are enveloped by a sticky, fibrous pulp that can be quite difficult to remove with just soap and water, so we recommend rubbing your hands with cooking oil if you can’t get it off.
How to Prepare Fresh Jackfruit?Fresh jackfruit may be difficult to find depending on where you live, but your best bet will be at South or Southeast Asian grocery stores. If you’ve managed to find a whole fresh jackfruit, you might be a bit intimidated by its size and spiny exterior. Once you get started, you’ll find that it’s only a bit harder than preparing a watermelon or large squash.
- Jackfruit is often sold as a whole fruit, or in sections. For most people, just a section of this hefty fruit will be enough, but a whole fruit would be a great way to make a large portion of fruit salad for a party.
- If you’ve purchased a whole jackfruit, your first step should be cutting it into smaller, more manageable chunks. The sap found inside jackfruit is sticky, so wiping your knife with an oiled paper towel may help you cut it more easily.
- Once your jackfruit is cut into sections, you can easily separate the arils and seeds from the pith and enjoy! You can even plant the seeds to grow your own jackfruit sprout.