Versatile use in vegetarian cuisine
The jackfruit is the new meat substitute in the veggie scene. The immature pulp has a juicy and fibrous consistency that is reminiscent of chicken breasts. In American restaurants, the exotic is already served delicately seasoned as a steak, burger, in a barbecue sandwich or in curries. When ripe, it is very sweet and tastes great in jams or fruit salads. In parts of Asia, jackfruit used to be a staple. Even the seeds are edible and are dried and lightly salted as a snack.
The jackfruit tree (Artocarpus heterophyllus) belongs to the botanical family of the mulberry family and is native to the rainforests of the Middle East. Today the tree is cultivated in Sri Lanka, southern China, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, among others. The fruits are irregularly shaped, have pointed nubs on the skin and are very large. They are usually 30 to 50 cm long and 5 to 30 kg in weight. Due to the high weight, they usually hang close to the trunk.
Inside the fruit are numerous hexagonal single fruits with large seeds. While the immature jackfruit has hardly any taste of its own, the ripe pulp is reminiscent of a mixture of pineapple, mango and banana. It also contains plenty of carbohydrates, minerals such as potassium, calcium, phosphorus and iron, B vitamins, some provitamin A and vitamin C.
Pay attention to an intact shell when shopping. A ripe fruit should give way slightly under gentle pressure and produce a dull tone when tapped. Before eating, it is halved with a heavy knife. The jackfruit contains a sticky milk juice, so the knife is best greased with a little vegetable oil before being cut. Then you take out the small individual fruits and remove the outer skin. If you don't want to eat the whole fruit in one day, you only open the bowl partially. The remaining fruit is wrapped in cling film and stored in the refrigerator. The jackfruit is also available in cans in Asian shops and on the Internet. For this, the unripe fruit is peeled, pitted, cut into pieces and placed in salt water. The "vegetable meat" is also shrink-wrapped and seasoned with various sauces.Heike Kreutz, aid