With its massive size, bumpy yellow skin, and strong smell, jackfruit is an exotic fruit not well known to Americans. The largest tree-borne fruit in the world (it can weigh between 10 and 100 pounds), jackfruit is native to South and Southeast Asia, and is the national fruit of Bangladesh.
A recent Business Insider story highlights the “miracle crop that could save millions from starvation.” How? Well, a single jackfruit yields hundreds of small bulbs of flesh, each containing a highly nutritious seed. Jackfruit is a good source of vitamin C, and the seeds are rich in iron, calcium, protein, and potassium. Plus, 1/5 a pound of jackfruit is approximately 95 calories. Therefore, if you eat 10-12 bulbs of jackfruit for breakfast, you won’t need to eat any other food for another half a day.
According to the story “a single fruit could feed your family for an entire meal,” and it can be served dozens of ways; the photo shown above are jackfruit pulled pork sandwiches. It's also great in a curry or stir-fry, as juice or chips, and even the seeds, which can be dried and ground, can make a flour to use in baking. The trees that jackfruit grow in are a highly beneficial crop to the grower as its leaves are a source of farm animal food, the bark can be used as a dye, and the wood produces a sticky substance that can be used as glue.
Jackfruit is definitely an underutilized crop, but “fortunately for the fruit, it has a growing number of fans advocating for it, trying to raise awareness for its nutritional value.”
To slice a large jackfruit, you’ll need a strong sharp knife.
Have you tried jackfruit?