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Meow Mix
Jackfruit
// article by Meow

Miracle food of the century, I've heard claims of how Jackfruit is the key to solving world hunger for quite a while now on this here interwebs, but never had the opportunity to try it out myself... until today.

Notoriously huge and native to some tropical climates, these fruits can reportedly grow as heavy as 50 U.S. pounds in weight (the one I purchased was 15), and are rather spiky on the outside. Within them are a series of vein-like tendrils that ooze liquid latex when cut that is really adhesive, and wrapped up in these creepy things are seed pods that look similar to bell peppers (or capsicum as some know them by), but they contain a single nut-like seed within. Cleaning up after the harvesting of the seed pods (which are the meat of the fruit) was mostly painless, but getting the latex off the knives CAN be an issue. Thankfully, I brew my own mead, so I have some nice chemical compounds laying around for removing it. Just be aware that you may need to do some special cleaning if you get your own jackfruit.

The seed pods and seeds themselves are both what you'll want to be eating of this fruit. When harvesting, just pop the seeds out of the pods and set aside for roasting, boiling, or frying. The pods can be eaten as is, but evidently can be used in a myriad of ways for cooking fine dishes. I tried the pods in two different ways (raw and baked), and I roasted my seeds.

The roasted seeds tasted remarkably like chestnuts and had the same texture. The raw jackfruit pods tasted melon-like, like somewhere between a honeydew and a cantaloupe, but the flesh was firm and non-stringy and just juicy enough to be delightful but it wasn't going to spray everywhere or ooze out like a melon would. My baked jackfruit was honestly a little grody to smell since it was like smelling someone's body odor after a heavy work out on a hot summer day, but the taste AND texture changed to something more like a pumpkin or squash. It was rather surprising. The flesh became a little stringy with its newfound softness from the baking too. I feel like jackfruit would be great with some meat of some sort.

I found the jackfruit at a special store that has imports from all over the world for ~$1.40 USD a pound, people online typically say to look in Asian food stores for them, in case you're interested. I can recommend it for families because little ol' me is getting a bit tired of eating so much of it and will be freezing the remains for smoothie usage so it doesn't go to waste. Quite a bit o' fruit for your buck.


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