Jackfruit is a popular fruit in India and we have a longstanding tradition of turning the yellow fleshy fruit into a number of dishes like biryanis, curries, chips and even jackfruit ice-cream. Jackfruit, also known as katthal, is a popular summer fruit in India and it is a common sight to see the yellowish green fruit on trees in the coastal state of Kerala. The state has a special connection with the fibrous fruit, which is also known as 'chakka.' In fact, Kerala named jackfruit as its official State Fruit last year, following a boom in the sale and demand of the fruit around the world. However, the fibrous fruit is making headlines for something else nowadays. It all started with a popular British daily calling the fruit "a spectacularly ugly, smelly, unfarmed, unharvested pest-plant native to India."
The article titled, "Jackfruit is a vegan sensation - could I make it taste delicious at home?" was published on the website of the British daily The Guardian on March 27th, 2019. The article talks about jackfruit becoming a 'vegan sensation' as far back as 2017 and the fruit appearing in restaurant chains and eateries around the world. The writer went on to address jackfruit as a "gross-looking lump of fibre - fat, spiky and green, it could have been animated for a bit part in Monsters, Inc," and said that it tasted of "nothing" and was too bland to be deemed tasty.
Take a look at Guardian's tweet about jackfruit:
The article also declared that in India, "Some people ate it, but only if they had nothing better to eat." Needless to say, the article didn't sit well with scores of Indians who pointed out jackfruit has been an important part of the cuisine that we have grown up eating. A lot of people on Twitter accused the writer of 'whitewashing' the use of jackfruit as a food and called for better researched articles. People from Kerala were especially irked with the article and expressed their displeasure about the article on Twitter.
Also Read: 6 Remarkable Benefits of Jackfruit Seeds
Take a look at few of the tweets:
Really? @guardian@zoesqwilliams Just because the West has discovered it doesn't mean it wasn't eaten (and relished) before. And no: a food item doesn't win the lottery just because it's now trendy in London #colonialhangoverhttps://t.co/R8QpW9qDeZpic.twitter.com/VPAJzUcRcu— Priyanka (@priyankalind) March 28, 2019
it has been relished as fruit, jam, chips, as part of curries/thorans, for generations in Kerala. There are entire food festivals held just around this fruit, for God's sake! Ignorance should be no excuse for casual racism, it reeks more than jackfruit. or durian (heard of that?)— Sruthi Ramakrishnan (@Sruthi_writes) March 29, 2019
Wow. This article is hot garbage from the first sentence out. The millions of south and south-east asians who don't have access to a wrap at Starbucks have been enjoying fresh, juicy and flavorful jackfruit for centuries.— Richard Fleming (@walkingtogitmo) March 31, 2019
This is ridiculous. We don't eat jackfruit because 'there is nothing better to eat'. And most of your recipes sound disgusting. It's a vegetable, with brilliant coastal preparations that we have been eating and looking forward to eating since my childhood. So much ignorance.— rujuta (@ObliqueRays) March 31, 2019
@jackfruit the ubiquitous 'chakka'. I remember in Kerala , starting summer this vegetable /fruit found its way into every dish that you had to run mile to avoid getting it in your plate .Every part was food, unripe ripe, pericarp, seed ,pulp, chammini...— sarath chandran (@pockyarsarat) March 28, 2019
Those adjectives describe the article more than the fruit.
"Only if they had nothing better to eat." is projection.
"I encountered it first in a Starbucks wrap" <-- The author obviously had nothing better to eat. :-)— @kingslyj (@kingslyj) March 28, 2019
Ignorance at the highest level. Kindly do your homework before coming up with some thing rubbish. In Tamil literature, this fruit is given one of the highest respect. Can understand the writer is oblivious to it.— Jagannathan Appavou (@drappavou) April 1, 2019
For us guardian is just a paper which is used to wipe out the gum of jackfruit after eating the jackfruit.— Anoop (@anoopbaiju) March 30, 2019
Looks like the author just heard of India, along with jackfruit. Wtf kind of an explanation is that for "crore"? And their research is wrong - jackfruit wasn't eaten only "if they had nothing better to eat" - (1/2)— Sruthi Ramakrishnan (@Sruthi_writes) March 29, 2019
Jack fruit is such an exotic fruit... These scums have no idea how many love the fruit in India.. Thousands of people make a living by selling it on the street in south India.
Fuking west media is too ignorant.. Nothing changes with UK since the colonial era.— Pavan (@chintham) April 1, 2019
Some people shared their own recipes of sweet and savoury delicacies prepared by using jackfruit, in response to the thread. Malayali cuisine has several delicious ways of cooking the jackfruit and in the recent years, health experts have also praised the fruit for its energy boosting benefits and there has been some buzz about chakka powder's benefits for diabetics. Kerala government has been taking concerted efforts to re-brand the fruit to push it on a global scale as well.
What do you think about The Guardian's take on jackfruit? Let us know in the comments section below!