Have you seen this in the supermarket and wonder what it is? The name is jackfruit, not durian. It is not a huge monster but rather a delicious fruit. In fact, it is the largest tree-borne fruit on Earth. Once you try it, I promise you will come back for a second!
One fruit can go up to 100 pounds! This “small” one I got at my local Meijer weighs more than 20 pounds. (FYI: $1.49/Ib for whole, $2.29/Ib for cut.)
Cut open the fruit longitudinally to expose the yellow fresh (the avrils), the first thing that hits your nose is the fragrance! The aroma! You will totally ignore the scary look of the cut surface.
First, I use a sharp knife to remove the white center core, this helps to expose the yellow fresh that in-bedded in the fibrous chambers (the rags). It is much easier that it looks, just dig in and get messy. There are lots of fruits! So it’s time for jackfruit party!
The avril is meaty and DELICIOUSLY sweet, with a taste all its own. Some says it tastes like mango, some says peach or banana; while others say juicy fruit gum. It is not. The literal Chinese translation of jackfruit is “pineapple honey 菠萝蜜”, it doesn’t taste like pineapple, not even close. You have to try it yourself.
Don’t throw away the leftover once the flesh is removed. The rags are edible!
Recently my mother visited us, she made this rag stirfry for us. She removed the rags from the rinds, and soaked them overnight in water, and stir-fried with carrots. They are refreshing, but a bit bland to my taste. Next time, I will try to stir-fry with some hot chili pepper or cumin to boost the flavor.
There is a smooth stone inside each fruit, don’t throw it away since that is the third edible part of the jackfruit. Collect the stones, cook them like you boil potatoes! I boil them with little salt for about half an hour. They even taste like potato! However the skin outside the stone is much harder than potato skin.
Lot of people confuse jackfruit with another tropical fruit, durian (a nasty fruit in my opinion). They look similar, both are big with bumpy green skin. But they taste different like day and night. It is also personal. My cousin in Shanghai thinks the flesh of durian resemble high-end quality soft cheese, such an delicacy to her; however, it smells and tastes like something rotten to me. Yikes!
If a whole fruit is too much for you, especially for someone who never had this before. Meijer also sells cut jackfruit, a quarter or a piece of the whole fruit. A good option to test the water. Also if you can’t finish the whole fruit, the flesh and the stones freeze well, you can store away the fruits for later enjoyment. Just make sure to remove the flesh from the rags and take out the stone, and freeze them separately.
My whole family love this fruit, even my picky teenage daughter! So give it a try and let me know what you think!