An introduction to Jackfruit
Despite being around for thousands of years, jackfruit is still relatively new to the UK. This can often lead to confusion and misunderstanding of what jackfruit actually is, what its benefits are, and how it’s best used. Frustratingly, much of the information on the internet regarding jackfruit’s nutritional benefits is also wrong, as most is only based on jackfruit in a can. This is particularly unhelpful for businesses looking for new ingredients to create healthier meals, such as schools, universities, and hospitals, as buying jackfruit in the right format is crucial.
Below we have listed and answered some of the most common questions that we hear being asked, but please don’t hesitate to call us if there’s anything we’ve missed, or to learn more about this amazing plant.
What is jackfruit and what does it look like? Is it really fruit?
- Yes, jackfruit is a fruit! Not only that – it’s the world’s largest fruit. One tree can produce over 200 fruits per year, and one jackfruit can weigh over 100lbs. Jackfruit are large, often larger than a water melon, weigh 10lb – 60lb, and are commonly green with a hard, rough outer skin. Inside, the flesh is separated into multiple individual fruit segments, which look similar to bulbs of garlic.
What does it taste like?
- Ripe jackfruit tastes like a combination of mango, pineapple and banana. Unripe jackfruit has almost no taste, but can taste a little bitter or acidic. It’s unripe jackfruit that you should be using for creating savoury dishes.
What is young, green jackfruit?
- Young, or green, jackfruit is simply another way of saying unripe jackfruit. The term ‘green’ can be a little misleading however, as unripe jackfruit is actually white.
Where does it grow?
- Jackfruit is native to India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. In India it is often found growing in people’s back gardens, by the roadside, and in jungles.
Is jackfruit the same as Durian?
- No. Although they look similar on the outside they are not related. This is a relief to a lot of people, as Durian is well known for having an unpleasant, over-powering aroma. The jackfruit is actually related to the Fig and Mulberry.
The benefits of eating jackfruit
- It’s naturally vegan, gluten free and low in sugar, and is very high in fibre, providing it has not come from a tin which usually has added water. It is also a natural, wholefood replacement for many types of meat such as beef, pork, chicken, and duck. It can also be used to replace fish such as tuna, as it makes excellent fish cakes.
How much fibre exactly?
- It depends if the jackfruit is tinned or pouched. Jackfruit in pouches with no added water is very high in fibre, containing 9.5g per 100g. Jackfruit in a tin with added water only has around 2-3g of fibre.
What about the protein?
- As above, it depends if it’s from a tin or a pouch. Tinned jackfruit has less that 1g of protein, but pouched jackfruit with no added water has 2.4g of protein.
What dishes can you create with jackfruit?
- In many respects there are an infinite number of recipes that can be made with jackfruit, largely because it can replace so many different meats. The most popular dishes globally are curries, but in the UK it is often also used in pies and pasties, sandwiches, tacos and wraps, along with British classics such as Shepherd’s Pie and stew.
How should jackfruit be cooked?
- Jackfruit is incredibly simple to cook with. The key here is to let it marinate. For best results in should be left to marinate overnight in whatever sauce or seasoning you’re using, but as pouched jackfruit is already cooked, it can be heated/reheated in minutes in a saucepan with a little oil, and then mixed with sauce or seasoning before serving.
Is jackfruit sustainable/good for the planet?
- Yes, for many reasons. Firstly, it is naturally pest resistant and naturally drought resistant. By default, this makes it one of the most sustainable grown plants on the planet, as it requires no human intervention in order for it to grow. Compare this to many crops, fruit and vegetables that often require huge quantities of water and/or fertilizers. Then of course there’s meat. Jackfruit is an excellent, natural, meat alternative, so not only is this good for the planet because it requires less land, it’s also good from an animal welfare perspective.
- The Jackfruit Company themselves have an incredible backstory, and work tirelessly to help people eat healthily, ethically, and sustainably. To learn more about who they are and what they do, click here – THE JACKFRUIT COMPANY
The Jackfruit Company – Naked Jackfruit Pouches:
- 865g Young/Green Jackfruit
- 5 x 865g Pouches per case
- 125 cases per pallet
- 1 pallet = 540kg of jackfruit
- Produced in a BRC Grade A facility
- Ambient storage. Refrigerate after opening – 5 days.
- Minimum shelf life upon delivery 6 months
- Available to order by the case, by the pallet, or by the container.