All About the Jackfruit

Jackfruit, or jack tree, is a type of fruit tree with an unknown native range.

Description of the Fruit

Jackfruit, Artocarpus heterophyllus, is a type of tree that is part of the Moraceae family, which also includes mulberries, figs, and breadfruits. Experts are unsure of its native range, but believe that it originated somewhere between Borneo’s rainforests and southern India’s Western Ghats.

Jack trees do well in tropical lowlands. The resulting fruit is the largest of any fruit tree, weighing up to 55 kilograms. Mature trees can produce 100 to 200 fruits each year.

Changes to the Fruit Over Time

The people of south and southeast Asia domesticated jackfruit independently. This is obvious, based on the fact that the southeastern Asian names do not have the same Sanskrit roots. Experts believe the first to domesticate it were Austronesians.

Description of Taste

Immature or young jackfruits have a mild taste and an almost meat-like texture. This has led vegans and vegetarians to use it as a meat substitute. You can also eat the seeds of the ripe fruit. It is much sweeter when ripe, which is when it is more commonly used in desserts. You can find jackfruit in many southeast and south Asian dishes.

Is It Used in Desserts?

As a dessert, jackfruit is common for making cakes and custard or eaten mixed with shaved ice.  

Pop Culture References

Jackfruit has been gaining traction lately in pop culture and more for its purpose as a meat substitute thanks to its texture. There is also talk about jackfruit’s potential as a sustainable option thanks to its nutrient-rich nature and the large size of the fruit.

Other Uses

Jackfruit is considered part of a healthy diet thanks to its numerous nutrients. Experts also feel that it can help with digestion, the immune system, energy levels, maintaining blood pressure, vision, heart health, bone health, and slowing down aging.

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