Jaca

The jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus, also known as jack tree, jakfruit, or sometimes simply jack or jak) is a species of tree in the Artocarpus genus of the mulberry family (Moraceae). It is native to parts of South and Southeast Asia, and is believed to have originated in the southwestern rain forests of India, in present-day Kerala, in Tamil Nadu (in Panruti), coastal Karnataka and Maharashtra. The jackfruit tree is well suited to tropical lowlands, and its fruit is the largest tree-borne fruit, reaching as much as 80 pounds (36 kg) in weight, 36 inches (90 cm) in length, and 20 inches (50 cm) in diameter. The jackfruit tree is a widely cultivated and popular food item in tropical regions of India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Jackfruit is also found across Africa (e.g., in Cameroon, Uganda, Tanzania, Madagascar, and Mauritius), as well as throughout Brazil and in Caribbean nations such as Jamaica. Jackfruit is the national fruit of Bangladesh.

(Thanks, wiki*)

Jaca // Jack fruit trees.

Once in a while, hubby comes back from a visit to a farm with a bag of beans or a few BOXES full of bananas, both of which never go to waste as both are part of our almost-daily diet (plus, I’ve also learned to make bananada — banana spread). One day, he finally came home with a jaca (jackfruit). A fruit that I had long heard about, “a prehistorical looking fruit” would describe my husband, but as it is usually too big to eat at once (unless you have a dozen kids to feed at home, ha ha) I didn’t dare buy one at the feira (farmer’s market); Even if they do cut a piece for you, I didn’t know how much to ask for or how to choose the fruit. As it happens, I finally got to try one for FREE and it was a SMALL specimen !  

The small-ish fruit.

I wish I could say “it taste just like chicken”, but, er, not really. It’s really very sweet and, as you can see in the video below, has a lot of fiber. The seeds are quite big so it’s easy to take off, but somewhat difficult to eat in a civilized manner ! I’ve read that there are some sweet or savory dishes with jack fruit in South East Asia. My in-laws told me too that I could prepare it as I do apple sauce without the adding any sugar. I had no idea and should look into it next time we get another one of these monsters! As it happens we ate a bit of it, but I didn’t know what to do with the rest of the fruit that went into containers in the fridge, then ended up as compost in the backyard…

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6 comentários sobre “Jaca

    • I don’t know. Have you ever tried sweet avocado? I did. It was so strange that I couldn’t tell if I liked it or not. Same thing for the jaca. I think it will take a couple more tries to know if my taste buds like it.

      • As the kids are sleeping I’ve been reading through your posts from the beginning! (It’s Brazil, I have time on my hands, hehe). I have such disdain for jaca! I think the taste is horrible. And then to watch everyone sucking on the seeds and spitting them everywhere. It’s so messy and… no. Not for me. Can you share how you make bananada? My husband always goes crazy buying bananas and then I have to make loaf after loaf of banana bread.

        • It’s so easy! Same proportion as any jam : half the weight of the fruit in sugar. So if you have one kilo of banana (unpeeled, of course, haha), then you add 500g of sugar. Sometimes I even add less than that depending on the bananas (prata is sweeter than nanica, I find). Then you cook it until you reach the consistency desired. The only difficulty is to keep the heat very low and keep stirring specially at the end when it becomes dense and will stick to the pan.

  1. C’est vrai que ça a un drôle de goût ! A Maurice, quand il est encore vert, on en fait un curry, et c’est très bon. Mais je ne saurais pas du tout le faire ! Et je pense qu’on peut en faire des gâteaux ou quelque chose dans le genre, mais là non plus, je n’ai jamais essayé…

    • Ah le curry c’est avec le fruit vert? C’est bon a savoir parce qu’avec un fruit aussi gros il faut savoir le préparer sinon on se retrouve vite avec un gros tas de fruit pourri ! 😉

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