As a foodie, student of food technology and curious person I love to try new ingredients and yes, also trend food. Especially in the vegan section I am always excited about new products which could contribute to a more sustainable way of eating. I came across jackfruit a few times now so it was time to try this fruit which is claimed to replace meat in dishes like pulled pork or goulash.
Some facts about that fruit: Jackfruit is a huge – and by huge I mean HUGE (size: 30-100 cm, weight: 10-25 kg) – fruit growing in Asian countries, especially India and Bangladesh. It is related to mulberries and it consists of tough skin with yellow, soft flesh inside spiked with big, black seeds.
Not everyone likes the taste of raw jackfruit since it is rather sweet and even can taste rotten if it is overripe. However, jackfruit is not durian, which looks similar but stinks so badly it is forbidden to eat in public transport in some Asian countries.
It mainly consists of water and carbohydrates, only 2 % are protein which does not really make it a meat alternative in the way of nutrition. It is low in calories and fat, though, and rich in vitamin B6. Moreover, the consistence is suprisingly meat-like, a little fibrous which really reminds of musle fibre. It can be bought canned, dried or vacuum packed in Europe.
I made the test. I bought 200 g for 3.45 Euro at the German chemist´s DM which sells a lot of food, too. I pulled the cubes apart a bit, heated some splashes of olive oil and fried it with garlic cloves cut in halfes, tomato paste, salt, pepper and some paprika. I did not marinate it, that’s another project. This was a really quick way and it tasted: good! The pure flesh did not taste like anything really but with tomato paste, salt and spices it turned out to taste umami and yum. I used it to top a pasta salad we took away for a picnic and it went absolutely well with all the other ingredients.
So if you are looking for meat-like consistency and a low fat, low calory ingredient which you can transform into an umami carrier you should definitely give jackfruit a go!