If you’ve never tried, or even seen it, jackfruit is a large, sorta spiny fruit. You eat the part that wraps around the seeds, or at least that is the part I’ve eaten. It takes some effort to separate the “flesh” from the seeds, because your hands get sticky. Fortunately my wife loves jackfruit, so she is always willing to oil up her hands and pick apart the fruit.
Unripe, jackfruit is cooked like a vegetable. It’s tasty that way too! Supposedly the seeds are edible also, but my wife always throws them away, so I’ve never tried them.
Jackfruit seems to be available mostly in the spring. We look forward to “jackfruit season”, and usually buy two or three before they are unavailable again for another year. As jackfruit is so large, we try to make sure we are getting a good one. Usually we are lucky, but this year we got two less than satisfactory fruits in a row. The second jackfruit wasn’t quite ripe enough; after cutting it, my wife let it sit, covered, saying it would continue to ripen. Unfortunately it started to rot! We hurriedly cut off the rotten sections, and cleaned the flesh from the rest of the fruit. It was pretty good, but not the best jackfruit we’ve ever eaten.
But the real disaster was the first jackfruit we purchased. It smelled so, so good as we brought it home, but once my wife cut into it, she realized it was overripe, and not good at all. She had me try some, and I agreed; it just tasted “off”. It was then, AFTER I ate some, that she told me about the worms!
Worms! You just let me eat some fruit with WORMS in it!! I’ve noticed that when I get really upset about something, suddenly the smooth communications between me and my wife break down, and her English gets worse. First she backed off; there were no worms, she was just kidding me. Then she did admit that there were worms in it, but it was okay, jackfruit gets worms when it is overripe. (Really?) Finally she claimed that she ate some too, and it was no big deal.
I never did see any worms, (she claims they are small, and “jump”), but if I did eat some, I guess I’ll just have to be grateful for the extra protein?
For more reading:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackfruit – the wikipedia entry on jackfruit.
thaifood.about.com/od/glossary/g/jackfruit.htm – a better, (my opinion!), article on jackfruit
orionblair.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/jackfruit-and-jumping-worms/ – jackfruit worms!
Before posting this article I let my wife read a rough draft of it, which is probably proof that the Jackfruit worms have already begun to eat my brain! (To which my wife responds, “If so, they won’t have much to eat.”)