The Jackfruit it is a particular fruit, certainly not native to our parts but which is arousing a lot of curiosity due to the fact that it would replace meat. Let's see in what terms. We can already anticipate that it is the fruit considered the fruit symbol of Bangladesh and it is also considered sacred and auspicious in theSouth India. It also has a distinctive appearance and each ripe fruit can contain up to 500 seeds and therefore up to 500 bulbs of pulp.
Jackfruit: what it is
We can find it also called jako or jacket, or with the more complex to remember scientific name “Artocarpus heterophyllus”. It is always him, the exotic fruit with a bizarre appearance that is now beginning to make itself known in European markets. It has many peculiar characteristics, first of all the dimensions because in fact it is for now to be the largest tree fruit in the world.
Think that it can even reach a meter in length and half a quintal in weight. Its appearance is certainly not trivial. In fact, let's imagine some already gigantic fruits, wrapped in a protective skin that is not smooth but studded with small spikes. Once opened, this fruit reveals a large amount of seeds, up to 500 we said, all covered with a pulp with a fibrous consistency and yellow color. It is a sweet pulp that smells very similar to that of mango and pineapple, it looks like a mix between the two.
In Europe it is still a difficult fruit to find, it is much better known and also used in cooking in the areas where it originates, namely in India and in all the neighboring countries of the South East Asia. It grows well with the climate of those areas, it is very rare that it can resist in areas where temperatures, in the harsh season, are close to zero.
This fruit with its original appearance and so difficult to find is considered an ally for the well-being of the skin and eyes, it is also good for the blood, heart, colon and immune system.
It is a very fruit rich in dietary fiber which has laxative properties but is also able to protect the colon from some cancers, the seeds are instead particularly rich in proteins, one of the reasons why it is often considered to belong to the category of "superfoods", but not the only one. The Jackfruit it is in fact also a food that has many calories but at the same time is low in fat. The vitamins it contains are very valuable.
There C vitamin (100 grams contain about a quarter of the average recommended daily dose) gives it important antioxidant properties, in addition to the C we find vitamin B6 and vitamin B1, which help to strengthen the immune system. The antioxidant properties are also due to the presence of flavonoids and carotenoids which help the health of sight and prevent damage caused by free radicals.
Jackfruit is also rich in minerals, among all potassium stands out, very important for blood pressure, but there are also large quantities magnesium, iron and calcium. It is considered an excellent food for athletes, not only for the calories it brings but also for its sugar content which makes it an energizing food.
If the smell is similar to a crossing of mango and pineapple, the flavor still recalls pineapple but also vanilla, strawberry and banana. It is sweet and pleasant. We said it contains a lot of calories, but how many? In truth they are many only if you think that it is a fruit, because it is about 95 kcal per 100 g. Always in the same quantity of food we find
Fat 0.6 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 2 mg
Potassium 448 mg
Carbohydrates 23 g
Sugars 19 g
Fiber 1.5 g
Protein 1.7 g
There are no contraindications related to the consumption of this particular fruit. It can be safely said that the most dangerous thing is the possibility of being crushed by it being near a Jackfruit tree to "lose" a fruit. On average it can weigh a few tens of kilograms.
When the Jackfruit it is collected, it tends to deteriorate easily if stored at room temperature so better put it in the refrigerator and, above all, know what to do with it. The seeds, for example, can be cooked like chestnuts, roasted or boiled. If they are from ripe fruit, they can also be eaten raw, if instead they are from unripe fruit, it is better to cook them, even fried or boiled if necessary.
In the countries of origin i ripe fruit are cut in two to empty the bulbs, so that you can then use the remaining part which is in fact the most rich in fiber. It can be dried or in syrup, or cooked like a real verdurs.
To find some recipes with Jackfruit we must go and poke our nose into the gastronomic tradition of the countries where the fruit is consumed daily: Thailand, Vietnam, Bengal, India. We can steal and rearrange some typical dish of these areas, preparing the jackfruit cut into slices and dipped in a sweet syrup or cooking it fried or roasted with spices.
The extract can also be a tantalizing base to add to soups while with the fermented juice a strange alcoholic beverage, desserts are made with flour. When handling it, the only thing to be careful of is the peel: on the inside it is very sticky.