If you’ve spent any time in the cruelty-free community, you’ve likely heard the buzz about jackfruit. Though a staple in vegan dining, this delicious, nutritious fruit remains relatively obscure in American culture at large, leaving even veteran vegans with questions surrounding this interesting fruit.
Jackfruit is a tropical fruit whose mild flavor and hearty, fibrous texture make it a popular ingredient in vegan dishes. It can be just as easily used as a meat substitute or smoothie ingredient, making it a perfect addition to the weekly grocery list!
Beyond Sushi is here to answer all the most common questions about this amazing ingredient, including its history, flavor, and nutritional value. Read on to take a crash course in Jackfruit 101: the ultimate guide for vegans!
All about Jackfruit
Who would have ever guessed this unusual fruit would rise in popularity to become one of the most common meat substitutes throughout America? Whatever the answer, one thing is clear: we are all about jackfruit!
History of Jackfruit
Though new to American culture, this amazing fruit has been around for thousands of years. First cultivated in India between 3,000 and 6,000 years ago, the jack tree quickly spread throughout the tropical lowlands of South Asia, where it was highly valued for its gorgeous, termite-resistant wood and delicious fruit.
A distant relative of the common fig tree, the jack tree is a marvel all its own. As the largest fruit tree in the world, this towering plant produces fruit equally as massive; a single jackfruit weighs an average of fifteen to twenty pounds.
The first American jackfruit made its appearance in the early 1800s, most likely after being imported from Sri Lanka. From here, it remained relatively unknown for centuries, until a rise in cruelty-free diets sparked new interest in this already world-renowned fruit.
Jackfruit comes in two varieties: ripe, which has a spongier texture and sweeter flavor, and green (unripe), which has a more fibrous, stringy texture. Though there are distinct differences between these two varieties, both are similar enough to be treated similarly, whether enjoyed raw or cooked.
On its own, jackfruit has a sweetly tropical flavor often compared to that of pineapple or banana. When marinated or cooked, however, this mild flavor is easily overcome by that of the seasonings around it, much like tofu or other popular meat substitutes.
Toss this fruit in a fruit smoothie to add bulk and brightness, or marinate in savory barbecue sauce and pull apart for a vegan take on your next “pulled-pork” sandwich. Either way, this tropical fruit promises to be a fantastic addition to your next breakfast, lunch, dessert, or dinner!
A single cup of sliced jackfruit brings a lot to the table: vitamin c, calcium, iron, and potassium. Unlike other fruits, this nutrient-dense substance also includes plenty of b vitamins, riboflavin, and folic acid, all of which are vital to a healthy nervous system. This combination of key nutrients promises to boost the immune system and give you the energy you need to power through your day!
Jackfruit contains 157 calories per serving, in which you can find only a single gram of fat.
Before planning your entire meal around this ingredient, however, be aware: though it may feel hearty in texture, you are still handling a fruit. As such, it has an incredibly high water content and less than 3 grams of protein. To keep your meal balanced, be sure to pair this meat substitute with a handful of lentils, black beans, or chickpeas to help your meal remain balanced and your stomach full!
Enjoying Jackfruit with the Professionals
Food critics everywhere praise jackfruit for its versatility and how it easily absorbs and enhances the flavors around it. In the hands of a trained professional, this one-of-a-kind fruit rises to a new level. By drawing on the natural flavors and unique texture, a professional chef can easily use this fruit to mimic a variety of meats: pulled pork, taco filling, or fresh, mouthwatering crab.
The chefs at Beyond Sushi are specifically trained in the art of vegan dining, allowing them to truly hone in on their abilities to draw the widest variety of flavors out of classic cruelty-free cooking. Enjoy jackfruit in such forms as:
- Our Nori taco sampler is made with fresh jackfruit crab mix, sriracha zalmon, and yuzu infused “tuna.” Each taco comes with a variety of sweet and spicy seasonings and fresh, crunchy vegetables.
- A charred avocado maki roll, prepared with jackfruit crab, white rice, charred avocado, and rich black truffle caviar.
- The spicy jackfruit crab special roll, which is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser with its flavorful combination of pickled red onions, gobo, chili strands, ponzu, and toasted cayenne sauce.
Place an order for pickup or delivery, and sample the versatile flavors of this popular vegan super-food today!