21 Oct

As durian season ended, I noticed a new stinky fruit appearing at the markets: jackfruit. Unlike durian, jackfruit is only smelly on the outside (my mom described it as “rotting gasoline,” which is pretty spot-on). The actual part that you eat is quite approachable, combining the flavor and aroma of a really ripe melon with the mouthfeel of a crunchy nectarine, but not nearly as juicy as either of those fruits. (I find that describing the texture of tropical fruits is harder than describing the flavor, because there’s no easy analogue with more familiar varieties.)

Peeled jackfruit


I had always purchased my jackfruit packaged, as above, and had never seen the whole fruit until a few weeks ago, when the durian guy at the supermarket switched to jackfruit.

Unpeeled jackfruit

No wonder — that’s a fruit that requires a professional. Bringing home a whole jackfruit would be the vegetable equivalent of filleting a salmon at home; doable, but unwieldy.

Disemboweling the jackfruit

Also, the whole fruit — as noted above — is quite smelly, though its aroma isn’t nearly as pervasive as durian (you have to hold your nose to the fruit to smell it, rather than just enter the same room). Still, probably not something you want taking up your fridge. If you can even get it in there.

UPDATED 10/23/2010: Correction! The stinky version is not jackfruit, but cempedak, a close relation. It’s described as tasting like jackfruit with a hint of durian. So if you’re not lucky enough to come to SE Asia during durian season, this can be your backup.


3 Responses to “Jackfruit”


  1. Strange Fruit « Straight Out of Kampung - December 8, 2010

    […] love for strange tropical fruits is well-documented on this blog. The alien ovum-looking thing above is called a “custard […]

  2. A jackfruit for all seasons: Borobodur and Nasi Gudeg « Straight Out of Kampung - May 17, 2011

    […] gudeg is rice (nasi) served with young jackfruit that’s been cooked in coconut milk with palm sugar and various spices, including teak leaves, […]

  3. Cambodia, Part 2: Real Food « Straight Out of Kampung - July 30, 2011

    […] questions and pointed out interesting foodstuffs, like pea-sized eggplants. After picking up some jackfruit to snack on during class, we headed back to the […]

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