Jackfruit  (Artocarpus Heterpphyllus)

A native of India that is closely related to the bread fruit it is popular in South east Asia  Its name is thought to have the Malayan word chakka from sanskrit chokra meaning round), through the Portuguese, jaca.   The fruit has a physical resemblance to the Durian, it is the largest of all the cultivated fruits weighing as much as 80 pounds.  The Jackfruit tree reaches a height of 45 to 60 feet high and has short stubby branches.  Each tree produces 200 to 250 fruits annually.  The fruit emerges directly from the bark of the main trunk or branch rather than hanging from twigs like other fruit.  There are two varieties one of yellow flesh and one with orange yellow flesh.  The shell of the fruit is green and prickly.  as it ripens the skin becomes covered with blunt spines.  the flesh is firm, juicy and sweet, and studded with starchy oval seeds.  The largest fruit can contain several hundred seeds.  The fruit is often eaten raw or served with sticky rice as a dessert. The sections are also boiled or ground with chili, onion and garlic, then fried with dried fish.  It can be crushed, puréed and is often an ingredient of vegetable curry and in its unripe form can be cooked as a vegetable, added to soups, pickled or dried.  The leaves of the tree are eaten with papaya in salads.

Selecting and Handling  The skin should be greenish-yellow and unblemished.  It should be firm to the touch but not hard.  When ripe the skin becomes stretched and taut and the fruit gives off a subtle aroma.  A very strong aroma indicates that the fruit is already over ripe. 

Season   January to May

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