Listen, we know you know Jack. No! We didn’t mean it like that! We’re talking about jackfruit, and we’re sure you’ve caught the buzz about it by now. Search engine trends suggest it wasn’t really in our collective consciousness until late 2015, but since then it’s exploded onto the plant-based scene, with Google searches about jackfruit reaching a feverish peak back in January this year (that’ll be the Veganuary effect).
It began with appearances in street food stalls and foodie blogs. Then came the cries of “where have you been all my life?” from eager vegans, and pretty soon jackfruit had made its way into restaurants and on to supermarket shelves nationwide. So, you’ve heard of it. Perhaps you’ve been lucky enough to eat it. Maybe you’re eating it right now and wondering what sorcery is responsible for this meaty textured, all natural wonderstuff.
We’ve got you. Read on for the lowdown on veganism’s favourite fruit.
Is it really a fruit?
We know it’s confusing as it features so heavily in savoury dishes, but the answer is YES. Far from humble, jackfruit are enormous: the largest tree-borne fruit in fact, and can weigh up to 8.5 stone. That’s the weight of a smallish adult woman! They’re not round like the melon or curved like the banana – they’re wonderfully irregular with green and yellow bumpy skin and a strong sweet smell.
Why So Meaty?
Jackfruits are multiple fruits, like pineapples. This means the flesh is made up of hundreds of little flowers. Those meaty strands are actually petals!
When ripe, the fruit is sweet as you’d expect, but unripe (or ‘young’ as it is also known) jackfruit has a more neutral taste and is perfectly edible. It gets flavour from the ingredients it is cooked with, so substitutes well for a range of meats in big punchy dishes, such as stews and curries (or this sticky, spicy pulled jackfruit…mmm).
Is it Healthy?
It’s not a nutrition heavy weight, but again the answer is yes. It’s low in fat, moderate in carbs and high in fibre. It also serves a good dose of vitamins B6 and C and potassium.
Jackfruit is also a low maintenance, nutritious and , so is a great sustainable food source to the countries in which it’s grown. It’s pretty cool for a fruit.
How to Jackfruit
This is where it can get confusing. Do you buy ripe or unripe jackfruit? In water or brine or neither? What do you do with the seeds and the core? Lucky for you, we’re here to make it easy. We’ve got four brand new, ready-to-go, organic and delicious jackfruit products for you to try.
Organic Shredded Jackfruit
Shredded jackfruit is perfect in tacos, fajitas, sandwiches… you name it! Get creative with our Plain version, simply subbing in place of meat in the recipe, or just pile our Smoky Barbecue flavour in a wrap or a burger bun with some salad.
Organic Jackfruit Cubes
Keep an eye on the recipe section of our website for more jackfruit inspo and don’t forget to tag us in your foodshares on Social! #bonsan #iknowjackfruit