Friday, September 2, 2011

Market Sighting - Jackfruit!

Yesterday I was at the Asian Market in Chinatown during my lunch break and noticed that there were fresh jackfruit in the produce isle. I'd never seen fresh jackfruit for sale on the East Coast before. It was an exciting find to say the least. The last time I came across this fruit was a few years ago, when visiting my sister in Orange County, California. We went to an Vietnamese produce market that sold jackfruit almost exclusively. The store was stocked from floor to ceiling with this enormous fruit and offered several varieties, the flesh of which ranged from pale yellow to deep orange. When I returned from my trip, I planted a couple of seeds for fun and both grew into 2 feet tall trees before succumbing to the outdoor elements. (There are times I wish we lived about 5000 miles closer to the equator.)

The ones I saw yesterday were pretty impressive, the largest weighing at least 40 pounds. Jackfruit can be as big as 3 feet long and weigh up to 80 pounds and is considered the largest tree fruit in the world. It's hard to describe the taste of a jackfruit. It's one of those natural foods that you just have to experience in order to fully comprehend. I was tempted to buy one of these monsters. Unfortunately, I couldn't imagine returning to work with a 40 pound tropical tree fruit strapped to my back.


  1. Very occasionally I see them here. It would have been fun! What would you make with them?

  2. Don't know if I've ever seen them, but thanks for the info on them. :)

  3. Now I'm curious. Is it sweet and smooth like papaya or guava? Is it acidic and seedy like kiwi or strawberries? Is it starchy like potatoes or breadfruit. Is it a combination of sweet and starchy like cantaloupe? Do tell...

  4. I love this post. :-) I think my DNA may have some jackfruit in sequence somewhere. When my mother (who was actually a midwife) went into labor with me, she thought her discomfort was due to the enormous jackfruit she'd just eaten by herself in one sitting, and I was apparently almost accidentally born in the kitchen. :-)

    Jody: jackfruit's texture and flavor are sort of unique to jackfruit. The fruit itself looks like a nubby watermelon (there are lots of varieties that ripen in hues of orange and yellow and green). Inside, the delicious edible bits are nestled in non-edible bits, and each edible bit, which looks like an embryonic closed flower blossom, surrounds a pale whitish-yellowish seed. The fruit itself tells you which bits to eat, as the texture of the fruit differs from its housing. I'm not sure I can describe it's texture or flavor. (How would you describe a peach to someone who'd never heard of a peach?) BUT, if you ever come across them, give it a try!

    The roasted seeds are delicious, too.

    I'm bringing soursop, mango, avocado, and dragon fruit plants up to Zone 6 in Massachusetts and plan to figure out how to make them live pot-bound. I should add a jackfruit, too.

  5. Yvette! Great description! I couldn't have said it better myself. "Embryonic flower blossom" - that may be the first time in history a fruit was described that way.

    Marie - I wouldn't make anything with it! Jackfruit in my opinion was meant to be enjoyed fresh.

  6. Very strange looking thing - never seed them before and never eaten one. But the description has my interested peaked!

  7. Mmmmm I love Jackfruit. I ate it in India, and the locals tried to tell us jokes about people being killed by falling Jackfruits.