The jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus), also known as jack tree, fenne, jakfruit, or sometimes simply jack or jak is a species of tree in the fig, mulberry, and breadfruit family native to South India
The jackfruit tree is well suited to tropical lowlands, and its fruit is the largest tree-borne fruit, reaching as much as 80 lb in weight, 35 inch in length, and 20 inches in diameter. A mature jackfruit tree can produce about 100 to 200 fruits in a year. The jackfruit is a multiple fruit, composed of hundreds to thousands of individual flowers, and it is the fleshy petals that are eaten.
The jackfruit tree is a widely cultivated and popular food item throughout the tropical regions of the world.
Jackfruit has a distinctive sweet and fruity aroma. The flesh of the jackfruit is starchy and fibrous and is a source of dietary fiber. The flavor is comparable to a combination of apple, pineapple, mango, and banana. Varieties are distinguished according to characteristics of the fruit's flesh.After roasting, the seeds may be used as a commercial alternative to the chocolate aroma.
Jackfruit is commonly used in South and Southeast Asian cuisines.
Because unripe jackfruit has a meat-like taste, it is used in curry dishes with spices.The skin of unripe jackfruit must be peeled first; then the remaining whole jackfruit can be chopped into edible portions and cooked before serving. Young jackfruit has a mild flavor and distinctive meat-like texture and is compared to poultry. Meatless sandwiches have been suggested and are popular with both vegetarian and nonvegetarian populations.
Ripe jackfruit is naturally sweet, with subtle flavoring. It can be used to make a variety of dishes, including custards, cakes, or mixed with shaved ice as es teler in Indonesia or halo-halo in the Philippines. In India, when the jackfruit is in season, an ice cream chain store called "Naturals" carries jackfruit-flavored ice cream.
Ripe jackfruit arils are sometimes seeded, fried, or freeze-dried and sold as jackfruit chips.
The seeds from ripe fruits are edible; are said to have a milky, sweet taste often compared to Brazil nuts. They may be boiled, baked, or roasted. When roasted, the flavor of the seeds is comparable to chestnuts. Seeds are used as snacks (either by boiling or fire roasting) or to make desserts.