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Jackfruit is the Fruit You’ve Never Heard of But Seriously Should Try

I’ve never been a big fan of the term ‘miracle food.’ For one, I’m just not the type of guy who thinks that a food can have magical, transitive properties to fix anything — and if somebody told me that they knew of something that could do that, I’d be pretty skeptical.

But I do get that there are certain properties in a piece of food that make it good for you, and that’s part of the reason why I’m so enamored by this so-called “jackfruit.” You see, jackfruit really is a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ food — in case you were wondering, no, I don’t think that’s where its name comes from. And while I’d be hesitant to call it a miracle food, it does provide a surprising amount of protein, potassium, calcium, and iron, all nutrients we don’t get enough. It also is crazy versatile in what you can do with it.

Right now, the food is processed into everything from flour, noodles, papad, ice cream, and cans. And pretty much every aspect of it can be used in some way, including the tree’s timber.

It’s also believed to be the fruit of the future.

Part of that comes from the fact that the jackfruit comes from a subtropical climate — mostly south and southeast Asia, where it’s as common as apples are over here. And as the climate warms, scientists think that the fruit will thrive as temperatures increase and rainfall worsens. Especially considering that wheat and corn and crops like them are believed to be some of the most endangered by the warming globe.

The fruit is also really quite big. It’s actually the largest known tree-borne fruit, as a single jackfruit can get as big as 100 pounds. You probably want to avoid hanging around any jackfruit trees but all that size means a big yield. Mix that in with nutritional value that is kind of unrivaled — we don’t recommend it, but you could seriously live on just this fruit for some time — and it’s no wonder that so many people consider it to be a kind of wunderfood.

But you probably just wanna know what it tastes like. Well, a lot of people compare it’s profile to Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit gum. No, really. Some people even insist that the famous gum flavor was inspired by the ripening fruit. Who knows?

What we do know is that jackfruit is a great source of nutrition and one of the most versatile foods out there. If you want some good recipes, we recommend this BBQ jackfruit sandwich (jackfruit isn’t there just for flavor, by the way, it’s the main ingredient), this enchiladas recipe, and this ice cream recipe.

Happy eating.