“Why you buy jackfruit?” says the woman in front of my husband in the grocery line.
“My wife asked me to,” my husband responded.
“You should go to Houston," she continued. "They sell you half in Houston. It doesn't look ripe. Eyes too close together.”
“Maybe it will ripen some more at home,” Hubby suggested.
“Good luck with that!” she said as she left with her bags.
Yes, I asked my sweet husband to buy a jackfruit when he did the grocery shopping last week. I thought it was time to try something new. Little did I know that the jackfruit would cost over $17! After apologizing to my hubby for it being so expensive, and taking the woman’s warning about its ripeness to heart, I did a little research about ripening jackfruit.
One site suggested putting it in a bag with other ripe fruit and leaving it to set for a day or two. Another said the jackfruit would ripen on its own, but make sure to rotate it at least once a day. I opted for suggestion number two. We left it on the counter for three days and rotated it twice daily. It began to develop soft, ugly spots, as my research suggested that it would.
On day number three, after finding several soft ugly spots on it, I decided to tackle our jackfruit. One of the how-to sites warned that the fruit may contain latex sap that would ruin knives and make your hands quite sticky. So, as suggested, I oiled my knife blade with olive oil (we didn’t have coconut oil), put on my gloves, and began cutting the near watermelon-size fruit in half.
It took a little muscle to get the jackfruit into two pieces. The smell was pleasing, my knife seemed fine, and it wasn’t drippy like a watermelon.
I carved out the core of one side, and it reminded me of the core of a pineapple. I could then see the encapsulated fruit and some very large seeds. It reminded me of cloves of garlic still attached to the head.
After removing one of the fruit bulbs, it was time for a taste… Pineapple, mango, and cantaloupe were the three flavors that came to my mind. It was very good! I even got my finicky husband to try it, and he liked it! Gary liked it!
By the time I removed all of the bulbs from the first half, what was left looked a bit like a porcupine. Strings hold the bulbs to the core, and some of them held on tightly. I believe the riper the fruit, the looser their grip. I had quite a collection of large seeds by this point.
Time for side two. This side went a bit smoother than the first one. Processing the entire jackfruit took a good 45 minutes, but it was worth it, and it kind of reminded me of a science experiment!
This photo shows the amount of fruit harvested from our jackfruit - minus a serving or two. Compared to the amount of fruit you get from $17.00 worth of grapes, the price of the jackfruit was fairly reasonable!
Jackfruit is high in fiber, and I found out that I shouldn’t stuff myself with it. But, I’ll definitely continue eating it - in moderation. I think I’ll add some to my smoothie tonight.
The seeds are also edible. They can be boiled or roasted, and the taste is said to be similar to chestnuts. I’ll experiment with the seeds the next time we buy a jackfruit.
Moral of the story? Don’t be afraid to try something new! You only live once, so enjoy your time, make some memories, and always be kind.