You might think you’ve tried every fruit under the sun, but you might not know jack … fruit. Jackfruit is a large tropical fruit that has been making waves in vegan circles as a meat substitute. Fruit in place of meat? Yep!
What is jackfruit?
Jackfruit is a very large, heavy fruit (think watermelon size) that has a bumpy green exterior. Once cut open, it reveals small fleshy pods that surround large seeds. It has a distinctive flavor that is like the perfect smoothie blend of pineapple, papaya and banana, and might remind you of a favorite chewing gum from your childhood. Jackfruit has been popular in Asian countries for years, especially Bangladesh, where it is the national fruit.
How to enjoy jackfruit
Jackfruit is available as a whole fruit, sliced into sections or packaged. The packaged variety is unripened and less sweet, making it ideal for using as meat substitute in vegan recipes. The seeds are also edible and can be roasted like nuts. Ripe jackfruit should be slightly soft with a strong fragrance and a yellowing exterior. If you purchase green jackfruit, let it ripen at room temperature until ready. While it’s a bit of work to get to the fleshy interior, you’ll be rewarded with unmatched flavor!
Don't want to buy the whole thing? Just ask a Whole Foods Market® Team Member to slice off a section for you!
And here are a few more ways to eat jackfruit:
Blend into a smoothie
Roast and spooned over yogurt or pound cake
Slow-cook green jackfruit and create meatless carnitas for tacos
Purée and make into sorbet or ice cream
Dehydrate for snacks or adding to granola
Simmer green jackfruit for a savory curry
Curious about jackfruit? Give it a try!