Orphan Jackfruit Needs a Home. Do You Have Space in Your Pantry?
Jackfruit -- especially in these parts -- normally comes in cans. Also known as Artocarpus heterophyllus, the bumpy green humongous fruit is produced by a tree native to southern Indian and Southeast Asia that's a cousin of the mulberry. It's also the largest fruit in the world.
Jackfruit can be canned in syrup, making it sweet and suitable for salads and desserts, or in brine, which makes it perfect for its most common usage seen in local restaurants -- in curries. As a substitute for meat in that context, it's unsurpassed.
Ripe jackfruit tastes something like a starchy and slightly sweet banana. It can be cut up and fried in chips, used to flavor and thicken custards, or simply eaten plain.
If you buy this rare specimen -- seen at a greengrocer near the corner of Grand and Bowery -- you can do do all these things with it and more. Estimated weight is 30 pounds, making it medium size for a jackfruit.
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