What is Jackfruit and How Do You Eat It

Jackfruit is the world’s largest tree fruit, and is often described as “jurassic” for its huge size (ranging from 10-100 lbs!) and intimidating looks. What’s inside, however, is sweet and delicious. In fact, jackfruit’s flavor served as the inspiration for Juicy Fruit gum!

Enormous and prickly on the outside, jackfruit contains sweet pods of snackable, craveable fruit. The tutti-frutti, tropical flavor is sometimes described as a mix of mango, melon, apple and banana, but as with any food, you have to try it for yourself to truly understand.

Fun Fact: Jackfruit belongs to the mulberry family and is native to Southern and Southeast Asia. 

As the fruit ripens, the skin turns to a yellow color and is very fragrant. The ripe yellow to orange fruit inside tastes fabulous as a snack or cooked, but this versatile fruit can also be used green in various recipes.

Common uses for Jackfruit include:

  • Dessert
  • Vegan Meat Alternative (used as a stand-in for carnitas, pulled pork and other shredded meats)
  • Roasted Jackfruit Seeds (rich in protein, potassium, calcium and iron)
Aside from its delightful taste, jackfruit is also rich in important nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, iron, riboflavin, magnesium and many other nutrients.
According to an article from Tech Insider, besides fruit, a jackfruit tree provides some of the following to its native growing region:
  • The leaves provide food for goats and other farm animals
  • The orange-hued bark was traditionally used as a dye for monk’s robes
  • The trees produce a sticky latex-like substance that can be used as glue
Watch how to cut open and segment a jackfruit:

Take a look inside!

So, how do you eat this crazy thing?

Before we talk about that, here are some things you will need to extract the edible portion of this fruit:

  1. Cutting board
  2. Plastic Wrap (to keep your board from getting sticky)
  3. Gloves (to keep your hands from getting sticky)
  4. Oil (to oil your knife so it cuts through the fruit more easily)
  5. Sharp serrated knife