Jackfruit is one such ingredient, which you need to develop a taste for, especially if we are talking about the ripe fruit. Some dislike it for its smell, which can be sensed from miles away, but a few love it for its juicy flesh, which when bitten into, imparts a sweet flavour. While the king of fruits - Mango - is most popular during the summer months, jackfruit too doesn't lag behind in terms of attracting its fans to come and indulge.
The tropical fruit is a great energy booster. Moreover, it is loaded with essential minerals (potassium, magnesium, manganese, and iron), vitamins (A, B and C), dietary fiber and antioxidants which collectively contribute to keep your heart healthy, maintain blood pressure and help you beat the heat.
In India, this fruit-cum-vegetable is readily available in the market during summers. The raw variant is popularly used as a vegetarian meat to make delectable dishes like Kathal Biryani, kebabs, koftas and subzis. Its fibrous texture, similar to that of meat, when cooked with aromatic spices, transforms the humble ingredient into something incredibly delightful. The raw jackfruit on the other hand, is best enjoyed on its own. Or you can also blend it to make smoothies or use it to top off sticky rice puddings and other desserts.
How to Buy Jackfruit
Buying a jackfruit is not always an easy task because of the sheer size of it. It is one of the largest fruits, which has a spiky exterior that encloses the fleshy fruit pods inside. This is also the reason why most supermarkets pre-cut and package it into set grams to make it easier for purchase. If you are picking the raw type, make sure the pieces are not blackened and look soft and tender. If you are picking the ripe fruit, the flesh should be vibrant yellow, without any dark patches.
For those who would prefer to pick the whole fruit, a point to note is to select one that imparts a strong smell. That's an indication that it is ripe and you can relish the juicy flesh inside. But remember, when you are about to cut it open, oil the knife and your hands really well because it contains an extremely sticky substance inside which is difficult to handle otherwise. Usually, the jackfruit is split vertically into two and then worked upon with a knife to extract the pods.
How to Store
The cut fruit should be stored in the refrigerator, and can be kept for up to five to six days. You can also wrap up the pieces and keep them in the freezer for up to one month. But the flavour is best enjoyed when eaten as fresh as possible.