Jackfruit, a Tropical Treat

When summer was approaching I knew I wanted to focus on the flavors of all of the delicious melons. Nothing says summer to me like watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew as I wrote in my post about the fruit bowls this got me thinking about a fantastic breakfast we had in Bali. That in turn lead me into the world of tropical fruits. Of all the weird looking and foreign fruits the one that stood out to me the most was the jackfruit. 

This large heavy fruit could easily be mistaken for a dinosaur or alien egg. I half expect some creature to come bursting out of it, but this fruit is deceiving. The outside looks as though it should be tough. I wasn’t even sure how to open it. I had to actually watch a youtube video to see how to get into it. Here’s the surprise. The rind is no tougher than any American melon and is actually easier to slice through then even most of those.

Once you split this beast in half you’re confronted with this mass of bright yellow pods nestled into a pale yellow fibrous membrane. There is a slight stickiness but nothing too off putting but what you will notice is the aroma. I think the best description I have heard is it smells and tastes a lot like Juicy Fruit chewing gum. As you pull the bright yellow pods of fruit out you’ll also find a seed in each pod. This is a large seed something more like a pit but it’s simply in a sack in the center of the pod. It’s super easy to remove by slitting the pod open and just popping out the seed. The other thing to note is that the seeds are very soft. A well sharpened knife will slice right through them so much so that when splitting the jackfruit in half I didn’t even know I cut through any, not to mention as many as I did slice in half.

Pulling apart the jackfruit is something that is best done with a group of people. This jackfruit was 30 pounds and of that about half was edible fruit! After my husband, mother-in-law, and I got through pulling this whole fruit apart I then determined how much we would want as a serving to top our fruit bowls. Then bagged up a weeks worth of servings for two people in a single bag, vacuum sealed it, and put them in the freezer. This fruit holds up to the freezer quite well and even if it does break down a little the tenderness and the juice make it all that much better.

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After making all our bags for breakfasts I had a bit leftover so I threw it into the blender to make a quick puree. This fruit has high soluble fiber and pectin so I had to keep adding water and scraping down the blender as it kept getting thicker and thicker. In the end I had a beautiful puree that I was able to put into my Italian Buttercream on my Tropical Humming Bird Cake.

Tropical Hummingbird Cake

So if you’re looking for something unusual this summer and want a treat I can’t recommend jackfruit enough!

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