Tuesday, June 28, 2016
I think our taste buds are primed with what we eat as a child and that becomes the food that we love the most! I think that's true for fruit also. Don't get me wrong. I love fruits but it's the tropical fruits that hold my heart and my taste buds.
When I came to the U.S. over 25 years ago, I didn't consider what I was leaving. I don't remember eating jackfruit in Dubai but I ate it on vacation to India. Anyway, here I am in this country and after years of missing a fruit, I saw the canned version; all soaked in syrup. It did satisfy me then but soon after I had the opportunity to go to India again and after eating the original, I couldn't go back to eating the canned fruit anymore.
In case you are wondering about the fruit I'm referring to, I thought I'd share a picture! The one above is one of the smallest jackfruits (15 lbs) that was mailed to be as a B'day gift. These fruits can get as large as 80lbs. There's a blog post called "American fruit" that I wrote where I discuss trying to buy a "slice" of this fruit. I was aghast that someone sliced the fruit in 1" slices. Who does that? The fruit needs to be cut into pods!
This is my first time cutting a jackfruit and even I knew not to slice it. Anyway, this is what it looks like opened! My friend who sent me the fruit sent me a link on how to open it, so I had some help. The top piece is half the fruit. I wiped out the goo that came out of center of the fruit. That center piece in the picture above is basically the quarter piece after the core has been cut! You can start taking the pods out from there. Here's what it looks like finished!
That's the center quarter after all the pods have been removed. The next picture is of the pods from the whole fruit and the final half after I have removed the pods from it.
I remember people who cut jackfruit as a child. They used to oil their knives so the gummy part in the center doesn't stick to it. I oiled my knife with olive oil and I also oiled my hands before dealing with the inside. The gummy part can be very sticky. I'm told it can stick fingers together. Well, turns out, using olive oil was an excellent idea. It also helped dissolve some of the goo and helped with clean up. I poured olive oil on my knife and was able to slowly release the goo that was inevitably stuck despite having the knife dipped in oil!
I feel fortunate to have access to this fruit from my childhood. I remember my honeymoon 3 years ago in Jamaica. They were selling jackfruit on the street and I remember telling our driver to stop to buy some. That was 3 years ago and before that I hadn't had jackfruit for over 10 years. So, to have access to jackfruit is a treat to me. I never imagined that I would be cutting my own jackfruit at my home but here I am.
Oh, the seeds can be cooked and eaten also. I don't have a picture of the seeds, but you can appreciate the size of the seeds in the second picture where you see halved seeds in the fruit. For the average midwestern American, this fruit is unheard of. For me, I can't wait to order my own fruit all the way down from Florida.
This was YUMM. :-)