I’ve had this post just sitting a little while now and wondered if I should finish and post it. Summer is almost over also. But I’m also not quite sure when exactly is Jackfruit season as it’s a tropical fruit and living in Pittsburgh PA were are nowhere close to the tropics. But Jackfruit seems to show up in one of my frequented grocery stores during the summer months best I can tell. Yet just when it will show up who knows. A few weeks back I wandered into the grocery store one day and there were a whole bunch of Jackfruit all on display. A bunch of people walked by staring at them seemingly wondering just what the hell were these huge humongous things. Best I know Jackfruit is the largest fruit on the planet growing up to and over 100 lbs. And it’s one hell of a fruit and taste delicious. I simply call it, the Jack Of All Fruits!
I was instantly excited to see this fruit at the grocery store. People were just walking by staring and pointing at it. Some seemingly confused just what was it. I started picking one out to take home. But while at it I ended up spending around 20 minutes or so educating others that stopped to look, just what the fruit was and why they should pick one up if they haven’t tried one before. Most the people I talked to had never seen one before and had no idea that it was even a fruit. Nevertheless, they had no idea how to eat it and what to do with it. So I explained to some that listened how to go about that.
The fruit I picked up weighed about 46 lbs and you paid for it per pound. They can be quite pricey for a fruit especially when you’re not in the tropics and especially that compared to any other fruit as it’s a huge fruit! But I was getting mine to take home. It has a really sweet aroma when ripe and gets even stronger as the fruit ripens. It is also quite delicious! The fruit is sometimes also referred to as a Superfood and or Superfruit. The fruit kernels (Yellow flesh) inside is loaded with nutrition and energy. It’s also loaded with Potassium and has one if not the highest content of Potassium of any fruit. Way more Potassium than bananas! Potassium helps with energy production in the body and also helps counteracts the effect of Sodium in the body as well.
First thing in preparing a Jackfruit, is it’s gonna take a while and better have some patience! Yes, Really! You don’t want to be wearing any clothing you don’t want to mess up while handling the huge fruit. The skin of the fruit, when pieced, can be quite sticky. It’s a very large fruit to handle and you’re going to need a very big sharp knife to slice through the fruit. It’s best to cut the fruit open cutting it lengthwise down the center of the fruit if you can.
Inside the fruit are allot of yellow kernels, all around the body of the fruit anchored to the center pit in the middle. And inside the kernels are the seed nuts which are also edible after boiling. I guess there are more than one ways to go about removing all the yellow kernels. At first, I did it the hard way. But the easiest way after cutting the fruit in half is to remove the pit in the middle using a small sharp knife to cut just beneath and around the center pit and cleanly remove it. That would allow you to much easily remove all the kernels that are attached to the inside thick fibrous covering of the fruit.
I did it the hard way first by turning the fruit over with the flat side down. Removing a bit of the thick skin with a smaller knife and then making long slits in the exposed skin of the fruit from end to end, roughly two inches apart. Then force pushing those flesh pieces apart to try and separate them and remove the kernel along the edges beneath.
Either way, it’s going to take some work and patience to remove the kernels tightly encased in all the thick fibrous covering. But the easier way in hindsight was to just remove the center pit entirely with a very sharp small pointy knife like a paring knife to detach all the kernels. You’re still going to have to separate the kernels from the rest of the fruit which takes work.
After removing all the kernels, you then have to split the kernels and remove the seed nut inside. There are as much seed nuts as they are kernels. These nuts can be boiled in slightly salted water for about 25-30 minutes or so and then eaten kinda like eating chestnuts. They taste great and quite nutritious also. They remind me of another tropical fruit Breadnut in the Caribbean a similar fruit of the same family as Jackfruit that also has a similar nut inside, can also be boiled, eaten and nutritiously delicious.
After removing all the kernels, there isn’t much left but a raggy hunk of fibrous flesh that was the original fruit.
Those thick yellow kernels give off a very sweet aroma and just taste heavenly. They are very meaty and can be eaten as is and very hard to eat just one. This was a bowl full of the kernels after removing all the nuts inside.
In the end from one whole Jackfruit, I collected three big bowls of the kernels and about 3-4 pounds of the seed nuts. It’s hard to eat the entire fruit in one go and takes a while to eat all of it. So I separated the kernels out into three 5 gallon plastic bags and placed two of them in my freezer to eat as needed. The kernels can last a while frozen, the seed nuts as well.
You can eat the Jackfruit kernels however you like. It’s hard to eat just one. Can make smoothies with the fruit with just 2-3 pieces blending them up in a blender with whatever flavor smoothie you like. You can cook with the fruit for all kind of savory dish and sauces. You can even make Jackfruit Rice for a savory dish. It’s up to you and your imagination how you can cook with it also as it has a great sweet flavor. Once you’ve removed the kernels entirely from the whole fruit, it’s well worth the wait as they are delicious and make for great snacks around the house or to take to the office. This fruit is the Jack Of All Fruits!