Are you ready for step two?
Did you all go out and buy your jackfruit quarters? Or a whole jackfruit? Or found some pods already dug out of the fruit? Or are you just here to see what you can actually do with it? I got your back, because I am going to tell you what you can do with fresh jackfruit.
I came across a pretty interesting theory, which is not something you find often in researching fruits and vegetables, that jackfruit is actually the inspiration behind Juicy Fruit gum. I had to dig deeper to find out that Wrigley never imported the fruit but both the gum and jackfruit contain a chemical (nothing poisonous, just science) that gives it an incredibly distinct smell. It’s a mix of banana, pineapple and maybe a peach thrown in there kind of smell, and you know what it tastes like?
A mix of banana, pineapple and maybe a peach.
Contrary to the gum people think it tastes like, these are actually not that juicy. The best way I can describe it is like when somebody describes a drink as dry. I always thought that was the weirdest way to describe a beverage and believed it was just snooty language for, “I speak wine,” until I had apple juice.
Well, actually it was hard cider.
I had been sipping on a hard cider called Gypsy Raindancer or something very hippy sounding until they ran out and only had Bold Rock. Not wanting to switch to beer or liquor I got the Bold Rock and it was like drinking apple juice that someone had poured a cup of sugar in it. My mouth wasn’t dry after drinking the hippy cider but it was swimming after the second.
Jackfruit is like eating a very juicy dried fruit if that makes any sense.
Now, this is still a pretty sticky piece of fruit, so don’t go into it thinking you’re eating a huge weird raisin. You’re going to be eating a slightly chewy banana that tastes like a “dry” peach.
I’m hoping that this is as clear as mud for you to decipher the actual taste of jackfruit.
So why go through the process of peeling away the skin, digging through the fibers and popping out the seed to get this huge kernel of fruit that’s frankly quite intimidating?
Go throw those scraps in the compost, wash your hands and get your pods together and I’ll show you some tasty ways to eat fresh jackfruit.
I definitely stared at the jackfruit quarters for a long time just thinking, “what do I even do with this.” I feel like that is always the first step, allow the fruit or vegetable to psych you out ever so slightly. When you come out on the other side with a tasty dish it feels like more of an accomplishment as if you conquered the weird and new to make it yours.
I may or may not also say, “take THAT -insert random fruit or vegetable name here-” to myself and act all cool afterwards. Let me have my moment.
As soon as I saw that the jackfruit seeds leave a little divot behind I knew I had to put something in there. It was like seeing two pieces of bread and there is jelly on one piece and the other one is bare, I needed something to go with the sweetness.
At first my mind went back to eating yogurt out of the papayas and I felt like I needed something along those same lines. The only thing is that when I put yogurt in the jackfruit it has the same mouth feel after you eat it. You know what the after taste it, after mouth feel is what my mouth felt like after eating it. Yogurt leaves a very slight film in your mouth after eating and jackfruit has that same kind of sensation. I didn’t want to pair that together so I put cottage cheese in it.
I have very fond memories of my mom and grandma putting cottage cheese inside pears (from a can) in the spot where they’ve dug out the pit. Very tasty if you get a chance to try it.
Some sweetness, savory and some pecans on top to give it some more texture. Do give this a try.
When I say that jackfruit has a banana mixed with pineapple and maybe peach taste, I really mean it is like 67% banana flavored. Bananas are a tasty fruit, and they really don’t have to be cooked to be tastier, but they can be, and jackfruit can be handled the same way.
Caramelized jackfruit is pretty delicious and I wholeheartedly believe should be draped all over a nice bowl of ice cream. You have to get some nice crispiness to it though, you can’t just throw mushy sweetened jackfruit on it and call it a day. Crispy warm jackfruit on top of a pile of cool vanilla ice cream sounds glorious and I’m mad now that I didn’t buy ice cream to do this.
I have robbed us all of a tasty treat. You should totally go out and do this though and assure me that it would be delicious.
The third way of eating it is definitely the easiest of all three and that is just to take a big bite of it as is. I have to give Mother Nature props for this recipe because while jackfruit can definitely be cooked up and served with tasty accoutrements, it is perfect in its natural state.
After the work of tearing the jackfruit apart, the reward of finally taking a bite is sweet in itself, but the tropical flavors mix in your mouth and really satisfy that sweet tooth. Don’t feel obligated to dress is up fancy, or even keep the whole piece intact, just go to town on a bowl of jackfruit pods.
Whichever way you choose to eat fresh jackfruit, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I’ve taken the leftovers to work and nobody has spit it out or not finished a piece yet. I even got Robby to try a bite and he enjoyed it. I call anything that he will even give a chance worth a purchase. Enjoy the sweetness of it and maybe throw it in a smoothie, in a salad or anywhere else you would use any other fruit.