Jackfruit is a fruit that is native to South and Southeast Asia. The thorny fruit which emits a putrid smell is actually being considered a ‘miracle crop’ due to its ability to save millions from starvation. The jackfruit is a great source of Vitamin C and the seeds are rich in protein, potassium, calcium, and iron. Some of these fruits can reach up to 100 pounds in weight!
The jackfruit tree is also capable of producing over 150 jackfruits over their two harvest seasons in a year.
The leaves from the tree are also a great source of food for goats and other farm animals.
Because of the calorie and nutrient dense properties of the jackfruit, many scientists and biologists are considering this fruit to be the cure to starvation.
As Shyamala Reddy, a biotechnology researcher, explains: ‘it’s a miracle. It can provide so many nutrients and calories – everything. If you just eat 10 or 12 bulbs of this fruit, you don’t need food for another half a day.’
And Nyree Zerega, a plant biologist from the Chicago Botanic Garden, seconds that opinion, ‘in Bangladesh, where jackfruit is the national fruit, it is often considered the second-most important crop after mangos.’
She continued: ‘and if you have space to grow something, you almost always have a jackfruit tree — due to both its valuable fruits and timber.’
Furthermore, there is a wide variety of ways that you can prepare and eat the jackfruit. It can be consumed raw when it is ripe, soft, fruity and delicious or when it is unripe when it looks like a giant potato.
The jackfruit can also be cooked in curry, in a stir-fry, made into chips, ice cream and even as a baking flour!
However, jackfruit does not keep very well (for more than a few weeks) so it is best to preserve it by storing them in cans or by drying them out into chips.
Despite its prominence in Asia, jackfruit is slowly but surely gaining popularity in the US (at least in the vegan and vegetarian communities) because of its resemblance in taste to pulled pork after an hour of cooking.