Demystifying Jackfruit: What Does It Taste Like?

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Have you ever heard of a fruit that can mimic the taste of pulled pork? It may sound like a culinary marvel, but nature has already provided us with such a wonder: the jackfruit. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of jackfruit, exploring its taste, benefits, and how to incorporate it into your diet. So, what does jackfruit taste like, and why should you consider adding it to your menu?

Unveiling Jackfruit

Unveiling Jackfruit

What Is Jackfruit?

Jackfruit, scientifically known as Artocarpus heterophyllus, originates from the jackfruit tree, a member of the fig, mulberry, and breadfruit family. This tropical fruit thrives in Southeast Asia and has earned the status of the national fruit of Bangladesh. Resembling an oblong honeydew melon or a large mango, the word “jackfruit” itself is derived from the Portuguese word “jaca,” which was borrowed from the Malaysian name for the fruit, “chakka.” Today, jackfruit is relished worldwide, both in its raw form and as a versatile ingredient in various culinary creations.

What Does Jackfruit Taste Like?

Before taking a bite of jackfruit, it’s beneficial to know what to anticipate. While the texture of jackfruit is dense and fibrous, reminiscent of bananas, mangoes, or pineapples, its taste is uniquely distinctive. The flavor of jackfruit is often described as sweet, with some likening it to the taste of pulled pork, especially when cooked. The edible seeds of jackfruit, known for their milky and slightly gummy consistency, may remind you of Brazil nuts. The inner flesh of jackfruit boasts a vibrant, mango-like hue and is available either pre-sliced or canned, often in a sweet syrup.

The Nutritional Bounty of Jackfruit

Jackfruit Benefits

Beyond its intriguing taste, jackfruit is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s not just your taste buds that benefit from this fruit; your health does too. Jackfruit contains essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It’s a particularly good source of magnesium, vitamin B6, and antioxidants.

While it may not be high in protein, jackfruit offers a meaty texture when cooked, making it a compelling alternative in meat-based recipes. When consumed regularly as part of a diverse diet, jackfruit’s nutrients can enhance immunity, combat cancer through its antioxidant properties, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, contribute to osteoporosis prevention, and promote healthy digestion. For those seeking low-carb, vegan meat substitutes for sweet or savory dishes, jackfruit is a valuable addition.

Finding and Savoring Jackfruit

Where to Buy Jackfruit

Locating jackfruit used to be a challenge outside of Southeast Asia, but times have changed. As awareness of jackfruit’s health benefits and its culinary versatility has grown, it has become more accessible in the Western world. You can often find jackfruit at your local grocery store, and if it’s not in the produce aisle, they may be able to order it for you. Here are some places where you can find jackfruit, whether whole or in various forms such as dried jackfruit, jackfruit “pulled pork,” jackfruit seeds, or canned jackfruit:

  • Trader Joe’s
  • Whole Foods
  • Vitamin Shoppe
  • Walmart
  • Health food stores
  • Asian specialty markets

How to Eat Jackfruit

The versatility of jackfruit allows you to enjoy it in numerous ways. Many individuals relish its raw form, while others prefer cooking it to use as a side dish, in salsas, or as part of a salad. Thanks to its fiber content, jackfruit can also serve as a filling and healthy snack.

When handling jackfruit, keep in mind that it releases a sticky sap. To facilitate the process, oil your knife and work surface before cutting. Treat jackfruit like a pineapple: slice it open, and remove the core. The inner meat should easily separate from the rind. You can add raw jackfruit to smoothies, mix it with yogurt, or use it as a sweet topping for ice cream. For cooked dishes, jackfruit can be transformed into burger-like patties, incorporated into tacos or salads, or turned into a pulled-pork-like dish, either as a standalone meal or a sandwich filling.

However, due to its lower protein content, it’s advisable to pair jackfruit-based meals with a protein source, such as beans, to ensure a balanced diet. For instance, jackfruit tacos with cooked jackfruit and black beans make for a satisfying meat-free meal. Additionally, jackfruit BBQ has gained popularity. To achieve a pulled-pork-like texture, marinate canned jackfruit (in water or brine, not syrup) or slightly unripe fresh jackfruit in your favorite barbecue sauce, then sauté it on the stove for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve it on a bun or enjoy it on its own.


Jackfruit is a remarkable fruit with a taste that surprises and delights many. Its sweet yet distinctive flavor, often likened to pulled pork, makes it a versatile ingredient in a wide range of dishes. Beyond its taste, jackfruit offers an array of health benefits, from boosting immunity to supporting heart health. As jackfruit gains popularity and becomes more readily available, it’s worth exploring its culinary possibilities and incorporating it into your diet.

For more intriguing insights and information, visit the Crooked Beverage Co. homepage.

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