The Jackfruit, Artocarpus heterophyllus, is an enormous tropical fruit which can grow up to about 3 feet in length. Native to S.E.Asia the Jackfruit is the largest tree borne fruit in the world. Jackfruit is the national fruit of Bangladesh.
The outer husk of the Jackfruit is hard and spiny, green when the fruit is unripe, turning yellowish green when ripe. If the Jackfruit is damaged in any way, it exudes a white sticky sap. If you rub a little cooking oil on your hands and knife the sap won’t stick. Inside the Jackfruit are the sweet yellow tulip shaped pods which are divided into segments, each pod containing a hard light brown seed. The flesh of the fruit pod is soft but in some varieties can be crisp. When Jackfruit is ripe, it tastes somewhat like a cross between banana and pineapple. Ripe Jackfruit is normally eaten raw but if unripe can be used in curries like the Thai curry ‘Kaeng Kanun’. The seeds can also be eaten in curries, either boiled or roasted and are sometimes eaten like chestnuts. As the Jackfruit ripens it emits a rather unpleasant odour which unfortunately tends to discourage some people from trying this wonderful fruit. Jackfruit can also be purchased frozen or canned, either unripe in brine or ripe in syrup.
Quite apart from the delicious taste of ripe Jackfruit, Artocarpus heterophyllus also has some useful health benefits.
Jackfruit is high in Potassium and therefore a natural way to lower blood pressure.
Jackfruit is a good source of Vitamin C. Rich in Phytonutrients, Jackfruit can help to fight Cancer and slow down cell degeneration. Some people also even refer to the Jackruit as an anti-aging fruit.