Read The Health Benefits of Jackfruit
In terms of proportions, the jackfruit can certainly be considered as the king of fruits. The jackfruit is recognized as the largest tree fruit, growing as big as 3 feet long and 18 inches wide; and weighing as much as 50 pounds. Because of its size, jackfruits usually grow from the trunk and larger branches rather than the outer stems of the tree like most fruits do. On rare instances, the roots of the jackfruit tree have been known to bear underground fruits, which are said to be very sweet and flavorful. Aside from these unique growing characteristics, there is more to know about the jackfruit that makes it doubly remarkable.
- The jackfruit tree originated from South Asia. Being a tropical plant, it thrives in areas where temperatures are warm and moisture is abundant.
- In a single year, the jackfruit tree can produce as many as two hundred fifty fruits.
- Jackfruit varieties are classified according to the texture of the flesh. “Hard” jackfruits are those that are bigger-sized and have firm flesh. “Soft,” on the other hand, are smaller but sweeter and softer in consistency.
- According to some jackfruit connoisseurs, the best jackfruit in the world is the peniwaraka, or honey jak, that comes from Sri Lanka.
- The number of seeds that can be found in a jackfruit range from 100 to 500.
- The jackfruit’s flesh is very sweet and aromatic, having been described as having the flavor combination of mango, banana, melon and papaya.
- Ripe jackfruit is eaten as a fruit but unripe jackfruit is prepared as a vegetable. Young jackfruit is used in stews or curries, boiled, roasted; or fried and eaten as a snack.
- “Jackwood,” the wood derived from the jackfruit tree is highly-prized because of its termite and fungus-resistant properties. It is used in making furniture, houses, musical instruments and oars. Palaces in the Indonesian island of Bali are made of jackwood.
- Extracts from the roots for the jackfruit tree can be used to treat fever, asthma and diarrhea.
- Many refer to the jackfruit tree as a wonder tree because every part of it has its own use. The fruits are consumed as food, the leaves are fed to livestock, the tree and branches are valued for the manufacture of wood products and the roots are utilized as medicine.
- Because of certain similarities in appearance (oval shape and spiny exterior), some people mistake the jackfruit for another exotic fruit, the durian; however, these are very different fruits.
- The seeds of ripe jackfruit are edible and very delicious when roasted or boiled in salted water. They are also made into flour.
The Lusty Vegan: A Cookbook and Relationship Manifesto for Vegans and Those Who Love Them