Jackfruit has been around for thousands of years, but it only recently emerged as a top food trend that shows no signs of slowing down. Here are seven things to know about this giant superfruit.

Food and Drink on Female First

Food and Drink on Female First

1. Jackfruit is the world’s largest tree fruit. Native to southeast Asia, it can weigh up to 40kg! It’s often confused with durian, but one key physical difference is that jackfruit has a rough pebbly exterior while durian has a spiky shell.

2. Jackfruit is often touted as a miracle crop because it is a sustainable food choice. It’s easy to grow, requires relatively little water and is naturally resistant to pests and diseases. As climate change continues to impact the production of core crops like wheat, rice and corn, jackfruit could emerge as a key food source for a growing population.

3. Unlike durian, which smells like onions, fully ripe jackfruit smells like pineapple and banana. Unripe jackfruit possesses minimal smell.

4. Jackfruit can be eaten at any stage of maturity, but the flavour profile completely changes depending on its age. Mature, ripe jackfruit is very sweet and tastes like a combination of pineapples and mangos. It’s typically eaten raw or in desserts. Young, unripe jackfruit is the version that’s used as a meat alternative and in savory dishes. It has a texture that resembles shredded meat, as well as a neutral taste that easily absorbs other flavours.

5. Breaking down a whole jackfruit is not easy! In addition to its large size, it produces a natural latex that is extremely sticky. In an effort to make it easier to enjoy this incredible fruit, Upton’s Naturals brought the first, pre-seasoned, heat-and-eat young jackfruit to the U.K. market. The lineup is available in popular flavours like Bar-B-Que and Thai Curry, as well as an unseasoned Original variety to inspire creativity. The 100% vegan products are made using only simple, recognisable ingredients, offer a good source of fibre and are completely free of cholesterol, gluten, soy, oil, GMO’s, and artificial flavours.

6. Jackfruit is an extremely versatile ingredient and offers cooks a blank canvas for adding a variety of spices and seasonings. While it’s most commonly used in BBQ sandwiches and tacos, this neutral fruit can add meaty texture to everything from spring rolls and stir fry to enchiladas and nachos. Need inspiration? Check out these recipe ideas.

7. Jackfruit offers many nutritional benefits. It’s free of saturated fat and cholesterol, low in calories, and high in vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, and vitamin B6. Jackfruit is also rich in fibre and potassium, which are important nutrients that many people lack.

About Dan Staackmann

Dan Staackmann is the founder and president of Upton’s Naturals, an independently-owned, ethical vegan food company based in the U.S. A 25-year vegan and long-time advocate for animal rights and environmental sustainability, Dan founded Upton’s Naturals in 2006 with a DIY attitude and slow-growth business model. In 2015, after growing a loyal base of customers, Upton’s Naturals was the first in the world to launch pre-cooked, pre-seasoned young Jackfruit in a retort pouch, which is now available in 20+ countries worldwide. In an industry where lab created meat makes headlines, Dan believes in sticking to the basics and clean labels, focusing more on cooking than on science.