From the Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia, inc.
by Marjorie Spear, Harmony Farm, Kuranda, Nth. Qld.


Seasons in Australia are opposite to those in the US.  Summer is Dec. Jan. Feb. Autumn is Mar. Apr. May. Winter is June July Aug. Spring is Sept. Oct. Nov.

Jackfruit Hints
Scientific name: Artocarpus heterophyllus
Family: Moraceae


Some people dislike the strong smell of jakfruits. Jaks are related to durians which have a smell that revolts some people. Dismember the Jak in the open air or better, get family members to do it for you.

Jakfruit vary a lot in flavour and crispness. All semi-mature jakfruit are excellent in curries and stir-fries. All ripe jakfruit taste better when chilled - try sprinkling with lemon juice before eating. Some people like them semi-frozen and eat the fruit with a knife and fork. Jakfruit are a good addition to a fruit salad.

The ripe segments can be curried or made into delicious jam with the addition of other flavours e.g. ginger, lemon, pineapple. Jaks are high in pectin. If you have a drier, Jakfruit is easy to dry and tastes a bit like dates when dried. You can sprinkle with lemon juice when drying and also make super fruit leathers.

When using Jaks as above, beware of over-ripe fruit. The aroma increases.

The pulp is very high in protein and fibre.

When storing jakfruit in fridge, remove skin and rags and seeds. The rags are very high in pectin - they can be simmered and the juice used in marmalade-making.

Jakfruit seeds are nutritious, but must be cooked and skin discarded. The seeds can be boiled (in plenty of water), and tossed into cold water so the skins come off easily. The nutritious seeds can be eaten cold or warmed, or tastier if roasted or barbecued after the skins are removed. Using a microwave, the seeds can be put in a plastic bag and cooked slowly. When cooked, seeds can be eaten whole, chopped like nuts, or ground up.

The unripe fruit can be cooked as a vegetable and has no smell. The Asian people use Jaks (in Australia) mostly unripe. For cooking as a vegetable, cut a well-formed hard fruit. For eating as a fruit, the fruit should have a dull sound when knocked. The fruit sounds metallic when not ready to pick. You can wait to pick till the fruit is soft to touch, but the birds etc. may attack the fruit before you.

Jakfruit stems exude a sticky latex sap. You can stop the oozing by rubbing the cut end in soil or wrapping quickly in newspaper.

Jakfruit are easy to grow in the tropics; having a deep tap root, they thrive on clay soil. The small, immature fruit falling are the males that have done their job.

Never leave a decomposing jakfruit under the tree - nearly every seed will germinate, and having a tap root, are hard to pull up. So compost the fruit and seeds. There are other fruits that germinate under the tree if not picked up - yellow mangosteen and white sapote (Casimiroa edulis) are difficult to pull up when only a few inches tall. For hygiene, fallen fruit should always be gathered daily - eaten if O.K. and composted if not.



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Bibliography

Spear, Marjorie. "Jackfruit Hints." rfcarchives.org.au. Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia. Jan. 1991. Web. 20 Dec. 2014.

Published 20 Dec. 2014 LR
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