Jackfruit is lately considered one of the best vegan alternatives to meat and has gained much popularity for the same! Not just that, it is also delicious as it is! Curious to know what Jackfruit tastes like? Then read on till the end!
The flavor of Jackfruit depends on how ripe the fruit is. Once a jackfruit is ripe and yellow, it tends to have a sweet flavor. People often describe this flavor as a mix of apples, bananas, and mango. Unripe Jackfruit, on the other hand, has a neutral flavor.
Although Jackfruit has been around for the longest time, it has received its due recognition only over the past few decades. There are indeed many ways to enjoy Jackfruit. But, the most popular way remains to use it as a meat substitute.
Some vegans and vegetarians swear by Jackfruit, as it is also very nutritious! This South-Asian delicacy is now widely available everywhere in the world. So, for some reason, you may be intrigued by a sweet jackfruit available at your local supermarket.
Before you go ahead and buy that Jackfruit, there are a few things that you should know about it. Knowing what Jackfruit tastes like will prepare you for what you should expect and make the whole process much more enjoyable.
Moreover, there are also important things to remember when it comes to picking the best type of Jackfruit, storing it, and cutting and enjoying it! We will discuss all of this information, along with a lot more, in this blog post! So, happy reading to you!
What Is Jackfruit?
We all know that Jackfruit is a type of fruit. But, those not used to seeing this fruit often may have confused it with durian. While the two fruits look similar in some ways, they also have significant differences. Let’s keep durian aside now and look at some interesting facts about Jackfruit!
Jackfruit is a fruit that has a spiky green exterior and is the fruit that grows on jackfruit trees. The jackfruit tree belongs to the same family as mulberry and fig trees and is native to mainly India and certain other parts of Asia.
Jackfruit is also the largest tree-borne fruit in the world, as it can grow up to three feet long and reach a weight of about 100 pounds! Although the exterior is sharp and spikey, Jackfruit has fibrous and softer flesh.
The flesh, when unripe, is very fibrous and has a similar texture to meat. This is why it is often referred to as jackfruit meat. This same flesh gets sweeter and softer once it is ripe. Along with Jackfruit’s fleshy and fibrous pods, the seeds are also edible.
Jackfruit seeds are often roasted and added to various recipes, as they have a lovely flavor. Since Jackfruit is more of a tropical fruit, you are more likely to find canned Jackfruit than whole fruit in the US. This is to increase the shelf life of the same.
What Does Jackfruit Taste Like?
Jackfruit is a type of tropical fruit, after all. Whenever we think of tropical fruits, we may think of things like pineapples and mangoes. So, basically a sweet and sour flavor. Although the taste of Jackfruit is a little reminiscent of some other tropical fruits, this fruit is much more complex in many ways.
Jackfruit’s taste varies based on how ripe the fruit is at that moment. When Jackfruit is not fully grown, it tends to be more green, and the flesh is very neutral in flavor. At this stage, jackfruit pods have a very similar texture to meat.
Moreover, the neutral taste helps too, which makes Jackfruit, at this stage, the perfect meat substitute to add to savory recipes. Once the Jackfruit is ripe, it has softer pods, and they are also yellow. These pods are much sweeter and are often described as a mix of apples, bananas, and mangoes.
Lastly, the seeds of Jackfruit are also just as edible! These seeds tend to have a milky taste and can be boiled or roasted. Jackfruit seeds are often roasted and added to recipes, as they have a nutty flavor.
This is what you would generally expect Jackfruit to taste like in most cases. Canned Jackfruit may have a slightly different flavor because of the preservation process. Moreover, the flavor of Jackfruit may also vary based on the type.
Does Jackfruit Taste Like Meat?
Jackfruit has become the number one meat replacement for vegans. Although there are a lot of other meat replacements available for vegans, there is something about Jackfruit that has made it as popular as it is amongst vegans and vegetarians. So does it taste like meat?
Jackfruit does not as such taste like meat. However, when Jackfruit is unripe, it has a similar texture to meat. Most people compare this fibrous texture of unripe Jackfruit with pulled pork.
The flavor of unripe Jackfruit is very neutral, so it can soak up the flavor of any savory dish that you add it to. So, more than the flavor, the texture of Jackfruit is very similar to that of meat, and mostly like pork.
Is Jackfruit Sweet Or Sour?
We all have preferences when it comes to fruits. Some of us love the citrus flavor with the mild sourness that follows, while others (like me!) are all about the sweet fruits! So, you know that Jackfruit is primarily sweet. But is this fruit also sour at any stage of ripeness?
Jackfruit is all about sweetness! When completely ripe, Jackfruit has a lovely and fragrant flavor without any sourness or tartness. Moreover, when Jackfruit is not entirely mature, it has more of a neutral taste and is not sour.
Does Jackfruit Smell Bad?
The counterpart of Jackfruit in terms of size is the only durian, also known as the king of fruits! But many of you may know that durian has an exceptionally revolting smell.
Although durian tastes lovely and is rightly called the king of fruits, the scent puts quite a few people off it. So, does Jackfruit smell just as bad as durian?
Jackfruit does have a more pungent smell than most types of fruits. Jackfruit has a scent that is often described as a combination of bubblegum, pineapples, bananas, and rotten onions.
For this reason, Jackfruit is banned in public places in some countries. However, the smell of Jackfruit is far from that of durian!
What Do Jackfruit Seeds Taste Like?
Jackfruit is one of those fruits where all of the insides are edible. Yes, including the seeds as well! don’t see the seeds of many fruits being edible, so this may surprise you! But what about these seeds make them such a popular delicacy to be added to recipes?
Jackfruit seeds tend to have a milky flavor. Mostly, they are not eaten raw but, instead, either boiled or roasted, bringing out their milky flavor.
Roasted jackfruit seeds have a sharp, nutty flavor and are often added to recipes like hummus, puddings, and various bread types.
What Does Cooked Jackfruit Taste Like?
Unripe Jackfruit is often used in savory recipes. Although adding fruits to delicious recipes may seem different, it is prevalent with Jackfruit.
The reason behind this is the fact that unripe Jackfruit has a very mild flavor. It tends to soak up the flavor of the recipe you have added to, which is what cooked Jackfruit eventually tastes like.
Does Jackfruit Taste Any Good?
When trying anything new, especially ifisn’tsn’t something we are too familiar with, a simple question may come to our minds: does it taste good? While this question is fair, it can be hard to decide the answer simply because taste is very subjective.
Technically, yes, Jackfruit does taste good. The best part about Jackfruit is that it can be eaten at different stages of ripening. So, if you are fond of sweet flavors, you will surely like ripe Jackfruit.
Similarly, if neutral flavors are more your thing, then unripe Jackfruit is the way to go. All in all, it tastes excellent based on the sort of flavor you like.
Different Types Of Jackfruit And Their Taste
Just like every other fruit, Jackfruit has many types! These types vary based on where the Jackfruit is from and, accordingly, also have slightly varying flavors. Here, let us look at the most common types of Jackfruit available across the world, what their pulp texture is like, and what they taste like!
|Tabouey||Pleasant and mild||Firm|
|Lemon Gold||Very Sweet||Firm to Crunchy|
|J-31||Sweet and Earthy||Very firm|
|Kun Wi Chan||Pleasant mild flavor||Soft to moderately firm|
|Cochin||Mild||Firm to crunchy|
|Chompa Gob||Mild||Mostly Firm|
|Black Gold||Sweet and Aromatic||Firm to soft|
|Dang Rasimi||Sweet||Firm to soft|
|Cheena||Aromatic and sweet||Fibrous, but also soft|
|Golden Nugget||Rich and Sweet||Medium firm to soft|
|J-30||Rich and sweet||Firm|
|NS1||Rich and sweet||Firm|
How To Buy The Best Jackfruit?
Has grocery shopping ever been an intimidating experience? It does get so for me when I buy ingredients I have never used before! It is one thing to be able to pick out the best fruit or vegetable based on how they look and smell.
However, the thought can be overwhelming when you are seemingly unaware of what signs you need to look for while buying a particular food, Jackfruit in this case. Moreover, Jackfruit is often sold in cans in countries where it does not grow naturally.
But there is excellent news if you are against the idea of eating canned food because of the added preservatives! Due to Jackfruit’s increasing popularity, many Asian stores in countries like the United States tend to have fresh Jackfruit! Here are some tips you can remember while buying yourself a fresh jackfruit for the first time.
1. Smell The Jackfruit
The first and foremost thing to do while buying Jackfruit is to smell it. This is one of the easiest ways to tell the status of the Jackfruit.
An unripe jackfruit will smell neutral, whereas a ripe jackfruit will have a strong aroma. The Jackfruit has gone chiefly bad if the smell is entirely off and rancid.
2. Look At The Color
Depending on the ripening stage you want your Jackfruit to be at, you can choose the best one based on its color. While an unripe jackfruit will appear green, a perfectly ripe jackfruit will have a yellow exterior with brown spots. If the Jackfruit is utterly brown with too many dark spots, it is probably overripe or has gone wrong.
3. Feel The Texture
The texture of Jackfruit is another excellent way to tell if it is okay to be picked out. Again, this depends on what stage you want your Jackfruit to be at. The exterior should be hard and firm to have an unripe jackfruit.
Similarly, if you would like your Jackfruit to be ripe, press it a little, and if it feels soft, it is grown and can be picked. It should, however, not be too soft.
4. Listen To The Sound
Lastly, another way to check whether your Jackfruit is ready is by checking the hollow sound. For that, gently knock the Jackfruit. If it has a hollow sound, it is probably ripe. However, I recommend not wholly relying on this method and instead using this method along with the ones mentioned above to pick out your Jackfruit.
How To Cut And Eat Jackfruit Properly
Mostly in countries where Jackfruit does not grow naturally, the fruit is packed in a can. While eating it out of a can is convenient; you may be one of those who got your hands on a fresh jackfruit from the Asian store!
We all know that there is, indeed, nothing like fresh produce! A fresh Jackfruit’s flavor is much better than its canned counterpart!
But, intimidated looking at the Jackfruit and trying to figure out where to begin? Don’t worry then! Here, you will find some great tips on how to cut and eat Jackfruit properly.
How To Cut Jackfruit:
- Place on a sturdy surface, and use a sharp knife.
- Slice the Jackfruit all the way around, from the center, and split it in half.
- Now, start taking the pods out of the cavities with a knife or your hands.
- Slice each pod to remove the seed from the center.
- Use the meat and seeds as per your need.
How To Eat Jackfruit:
- If the Jackfruit is ripe, it can be eaten as it is or added to many desserts.
- If the Jackfruit is not fully mature, shred the flesh and use it to add depth to recipes.
- Roast or boil the seeds and use them to add a nutty and milky flavor to dips.
Some Great Jackfruit Recipes To Try
What recipes should I add all the unripe Jackfruit meat to? Here are some recipe ideas where Jackfruit fits perfectly as a meat substitute!
- Pulled Jackfruit Sandwiches – Pulled pork sandwiches are great, but their vegan version made with Jackfruit is just as great! Pair this sandwich with some BBQ sauce, and trust me, you won’ton’t be able to tell the difference!
- Jackfruit Curry – This is a popular dish in Sri Lanka and Southern parts of India. This curry can be made coconut based since jackfruit pairs well with that flavor.
- Bao Buns with Jackfruit – Yet again, just like there are bao buns made with all sorts of meat, you can easily replace the meat in any recipe with some good old jackfruit meat!
- Jackfruit Pot Roast – Is Meatless Monday a concept for you as well? Then why try out a lovely pot roast made with Jackfruit instead of meat?
- Crispy Fried Jackfruit – Like fried chicken, you can also make some crispy fried jackfruit! This can be dipped in batter or even breaded and fried.
- Jackfruit Tamales – A lovely vegan and meatless version of tamales, where you won’t even be able to tell the difference is jackfruit tamales!
How To Store Jackfruit?
Like all other types of fresh produce, storing Jackfruit properly is just as crucial as every further step. If the Jackfruit is appropriately stored, it retains its flavor and stays fresh. Some easy ways to keep both canned and fresh Jackfruit are given below.
Storing Fresh Jackfruit:
- Once you have cut open a jackfruit, remove the pods simultaneously. Even if don’ton’t plan on using them all at once, it is best to take them out and store them until further use.
- Once the pods are out, wrap them tightly in plastic or airtight containers.
- Place in the refrigerator for up to 5 days for both unripe and ripe Jackfruit.
- Place in the freezer for up to 2 months for more extended storage.
- The process for cooked Jackfruit is the same.
Storing Canned Jackfruit:
- An unopened can of Jackfruit can easily last in the pantry for a couple of years.
- Once you open the can, take the contents out and transfer them to an airtight container.
- Store in the refrigerator for a few days, or transfer the container to the freezer and store the Jackfruit there for up to 2 months.
Health Benefits Of Jackfruit
Jackfruit is not only delicious and the perfect meat replacement in recipes but also an overall very nutritious fruit! Jackfruit has several health benefits, which we will look at in this section.
1. Good For Heart Health
Jackfruit is rich in antioxidants, fiber, and potassium, all of which have been linked to improving overall heart health and can even prevent heart disease.
2. Good For Immune Health
Jackfruit is also packed with vitamins and minerals for immune health. These include an abundance of Vitamins A and C.
3. Prevents Skin Problems
Just like Vitamin C is essential for immune health, it is also great for kinesin’s overall health. The Vitamin C present in Jackfruit can potentially prevent skin problems.
4. Can Benefit Blood Sugar Control
Jackfruit is rich in fiber, which is why it gets digested slowly. This, in turn, makes the glycemic index of Jackfruit low and makes it reasonable to keep blood sugar under control.
5. May Protect Against Diseases
Along with developing the immune system, Jackfruit can protect against certain diseases very well. Jackfruit is rich in carotenoids and flavones, which have been linked to reducing inflammation and the risk of various diseases.
Nutritional Information Of Jackfruit
After going through the health benefits that Jackfruit can provide, I am sure that many of you are very intrigued by this fruit. Not only is Jackfruit a suitable replacement for meat, but it is also very nutritious without being fatty.
Jackfruit may be a minor source of protein than meat. But there are many other nutrients that you can get out of Jackfruit. Mainly, Jackfruit is an excellent source of Vitamin C and Potassium and also a good source of fiber.
|Vitamin C||22.6 mg|
Jackfruit is a tropical fruit from Southeast Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. This fruit is the number one choice for vegans, especially for a meat substitute. That is one great thing about Jackfruit, which is the fact that it can be eaten ripe and unripe.
Jackfruit, when ripe, has a sweet flavor that can be enjoyed as it is or added to several dessert recipes for flavor. On the other hand, Unripe Jackfruit has a very neutral taste and soaks different flavors quite quickly.
It also has a very similar texture to that of meat, especially pulled pork. Jackfruit seeds are also edible and can be roasted or boiled and eaten. Along with all of this, Jackfruit is an excellent source of nutrients.
It is packed with fiber and is excellent for people trying to watch their blood sugar levels. So, if haven’t tried Jackfruit, this is your sign of having some! What did you think of Jackfruit? Let me know in the comments below!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does unripe Jackfruit always have a neutral flavor?
Yes, unripe Jackfruit always has a neutral flavor.
Does cooked Jackfruit taste any different?
In most cases, cooked jackfruit tastes like the added seasonings and flavorings.
Is Jackfruit healthy?
Yes, Jackfruit is a very healthy fruit!
Can you find fresh Jackfruit in countries where it does not naturally grow?
Yes, now you may easily find fresh Jackfruit even in countries where it does not naturally grow.
Does Jackfruit smell as much as durian?
Jackfruit does have a peculiar smell. However, it is not even close to the revolting smell of durian fruit.