"Spectacularly Ugly", "Pest-Plant": British Daily's Article On Jackfruit Irks Indian Twitterati

NDTV Food Desk  |  Updated: April 02, 2019 10:53 IST

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Highlights
  • An article published on website of The Guardian has angered people
  • The article called jackfruit "spectacularly ugly, smelly.. pest-plant"
  • The author called jackfruit a bland and "gross-looking lump of fibre"

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.

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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.

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Take a look at few of the tweets:

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!

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