Jackfruit is the largest tree fruit in the world. It can be eaten raw as you do with any fruit and cooked as a meat substitute. But why the big hype lately? What is everyone’s fascination with this huge tropical fruit that can weigh in at 55kg – 120lbs and is grown in India and South East Asia. Are the rumours true? Does jackfruit really taste like chewing gum?
I wanted to find out so I went on a 7 month hunt around the UK, well London to find this fruit and answer some of these questions. When I eventually found it I studied it hard and worked out how to cut, peel and prepare a jackfruit so your kitchen doesn’t get covered in latex. I tasted it and filmed it so I can tell you what jackfruit tastes like and if it really tastes like chewing gum. Because if people are saying something natural tastes like chewing gum I want to try it (“,)
HOW TO PREPARE CUT & PEEL JACKFRUIT
Jackfruit contains a natural latex which is really sticky and is really hard to remove, so we need to do a little prep work first.
- I covered my table with cling film to make tidying up quick and easy and also act as a protective barrier.
- To protect my hands chopping board and knife from the jackfruit’s latex I covered my hands, chopping board and knife blade with vegetable oil. I chose vegetable oil because it doesn’t have a distinct flavour like coconut oil or olive oil and I wanted to taste the jackfruits true flavour because this was my first time trying it. Doing it this way was great because I didn’t get any sticky latex on myself or anywhere in the kitchen. Next time I think I will use rubber gloves instead to protect my hands because I found my hands didn’t have a good grip on the knife when I was cutting y jackfruit.
- The piece I had was already cut so I used my breadknife and cut from the top down in a sawing motion. It felt like cutting through a sponge. I soon came to realise I didn’t need need to cut my jackfruit into slices and started pulling the fruit out.
If you like to try exotic fruit, then maybe you will be interested in how to cut and prepare sugarcane. If you have never tried it I would highly recommend it. It is delicious!
WHAT DOES JACKFRUIT LOOK LIKE?
There are three parts to a jackfruit, the fruit pod, the seed and the fibrous skeleton. The jackfruit pod is yellow and has a brown seed inside which is held together by lots white of tough white fibres.
HOW TO EAT RAW JACKFRUIT
Your mission is to try and release the yellow fruit pods from the white fibres and then squeeze out the seed so you can enjoy your jackfruit. It’s not as hard or as laborious as it sounds. It is quite relaxing, kind of therapeutic in fact. If you watch my video below you will see just how easy it is to do.
I would recommend peeling and deseeding all your pods from the fibres first so you can sit back, relax and indulge in your fruit rather then have to pull, push, rip and squeeze each time you want a bite.
WHAT PARTS OF JACKFRUIT ARE EDIBLE?
The yellow fruit pods of the jackfruit are edible. Did you know that you can also eat the seeds if you boil them?
When I did my research I read a few times that people eat them and say the seeds have the consistency of boiled potatoes. I haven’t personally tried them so I can’t guarantee that. But, on my many months of searching for jackfruit I did come across a sop just selling jackfruit seeds. This was kind of strange and a little annoying at the time. I didn’t understand why they had a big box of jackfruit seeds. I guess people love potato textured seeds more than the fruit lol.
WHAT DOES JACKFRUIT TASTE LIKE
When I took my first bite of jackfruit I expected to be blown away by a new tropical fruity flavour. Instead I couldn’t get my head around why it hand the texture of melon. I assumed it was going to be soft but firm like Sharon fruit or persimmon but I was wrong. This didn’t stop me and soon realised the flavour was more intense where the seed sat in the pod. It was like a cross between mango and pineapple with a hint of something else. I still can’t put my finger on. Watch my taste test video below to see my full reaction.
I do recommend putting it in the fridge before eating it. The cold temperature makes the jackfruit taste more intense, refreshing and juicy.
DOES JACKFRUIT TASTE LIKE CHEWING GUM?
Every video I watched and every article or blog I read everyone claimed that jackfruit tastes like chewing gum. I was expecting jackfruit to taste like juicy fruit chewing gum but it didn’t really. The bits where the seeds sit are more fruity and have a subtle hint of tuti-fruity gum. It wasn’t how people described it. I don’t know if my jackfruit was unripe or it was an off batch. But I will try it again because I want to be eating fruit that tastes like gum (“,).
I must also add that after a few pods my tongue started to feel a little itchy. It was kind of like when you eat unripe fruit like pineapple. This got me thinking maybe our jackfruit wasn’t fully ripe.
Have you had jackfruit before? What would you relate the flavour of jackfruit too? Does jackfruit taste like chewing gum?