Operating on a Jackfruit

on Saturday, January 17, 2009

If there is one thing that squirrels are experts in, it is fruits and nuts. On that pretext, I would like to introduce you readers to the Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus). This is the largest tree borne fruit in the world which is why this squirrel is all excited about it. It can grow up to a meter in length and can weigh as much as 36 kg (80lbs).

The fruit contains within it scores of fleshy pulp covered seeds. It is this fleshy pulp that is eaten. It has a firm texture, has a strong fruity aldehyde smell, mild flavour and is sugary sweet. This fruit is probably native to the Indian sub-continent but is also found in Malaysia. The young fruit is also used in making curries.

Obtaining the edible pulp requires some know-how however. The problem is that the fruit exudes a latex that is both sticky and an irritant. Therefore certain precautions and procedures need to be followed, for example, wearing gloves. The knife used to cut the fruit should also be wiped with vegetable oil before use. This stops the latex from gumming up the knife.

There is still no way to send taste and flavour over the internet so for the time being, you will have to take my word for it that it is great or you can go look for the fruit and try it yourself. (calling all nerds, there's money to be made if tastes and flavours could be sent my internet. Get cracking on it!)

However, through the magic of video, I will share with you the trauma and drama of operating on a Jackfruit to harvest the delicious pulp. Be warned this original Lone Grey Squirrel Video is not for the squeamish!


Molly said...

There's nothing my son won't try to grow! He says jackfruit won't grow here in [our part of] Florida. Wants to know if you've heard of breadfruit and if it tastes similar to jackfruit....?

kimber the wolfgrrrl said...

I've never heard of a fruit that requires a precautionary warning before! I've had dried jackfruit, and it was DIVINE!

Middle Ditch said...

Clever squirrels. To negotiate the latex.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Breadfruit tree is also a native of the Malay Peninsula. Although the breadfruit and jackfruit are related species, the fruits are quite different. visually, there may be some similarities but breadfruit is smaller and rounder. Jackfruit is sweet and strong aldehyde smell. Breadfruit is starchy and usually requires to be cooked, usually by baking or frying before it can be eaten. Breadfruit is more like a staple than a fruit. Historically, the British Navy liked it as it was a staple that kept well for long maritine journeys and is also rich in much needed Vitamin C which staved off scurvy.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

The fruit is okay but the video needs the precautionary warning!

Middle Ditch,
Thank you but humans seem to know this trick too.

citizen of the world said...

The second-to-last image looked like intestines!

tsduff said...

That looks bizarre - but I'm game. Now where can one find such a thing in California? Huh? I know my sister Julee had some when she was in Thailand, and spoke highly of it. I had no idea of the high delicate procedure needed to prepare the fruit for consumption though! What a great post - loved the video, even though it does look like guts!

the walking man said...

The closest I ever came to having that involved of a procedure to open something was a coconut. The jackfruit looks like it tastes better though.

VioletSky said...

Oh, I had jackfruit in a curry once and it is indeed delish. I searched everywhere for recipes and have found tins of jackfruit but not fresh. I had no idea that it looked so menacing in real life!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Indeed, intestines or worse. Hence the "not for squeamish" warning.

The fruit does taste very nice, so don't be put off by the video. Of course, here we are quite used to it but I thought it would look strange to someone unfamiliar with it. Can't help you with where to find it in California.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

The difference between the two procedures is that opening a coconut is more like breaking into a safe whereas, with the Jackfruit, it resembles more like a caesarean operation.

It does make a nice curry, doesn't it? It's mild but fruity fragrance being a major contributor to the curry's tsste. But please do keep a look out for the fresh fruit, it is pleasant and distinctive in flavor.

Sincerity said...

Very cool! Or should I say, sweet! I've never heard of Jackfruit before but I would definitely try it. Neat post.

mago said...

Well I witnessed one or two autopsies and for some reason I was remembered of these operations... my speakers are not working so I do not know whether there is sound ... but no electrical devices involved, good.
I never tasted this fruit. Maybe I'll have a look in the local Asia deli. Later.

geewits said...

I bet you could fit TWO squirrels inside that thing.

Marja said...

Wow Never heard of it. 36 kg That fruit can kill you. Don't think you can buy it around here so I will come to taste it one day

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks. And I am sure you will like the fruit. It is indeed sweet.

I had some music in the background but it is okay to watch the video without music too.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Several squirrels , in fact.

We do have a few fruits that could kill if it dropped on someone's head. Yet, I've never heard of anyone dying from Jackfruit.

kat said...

Hello from just outside D.C.on the night before the Inauguration!
I will be in the Mall seeing it all
and I will give a wave to you.
take care!

kat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr.John said...

Now that is a week's worth of fruit.

Janice Thomson said...

Gosh it is weird looking fruit but if it tastes good who cares :) Will have to keep an eye out for this - and some rubber gloves too.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I watched most of it from the comfort of my house on CNN. Hope you had a good time though. It certainly is an event worth facing the freezing weather for.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Dr. John,
I think it helps with regularity too (eating the fruit). So a Jack fruit keeps the doctor away for .....a week.

It looks strange but it is nice. It is sweet with an distinct but understated flavor.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I am going to the Asian grocery tomorrow to see if they have any. And I'd like to try to grow a plant from the seeds.

Thank you, Calvin, for giving me an exciting new project!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Good luck. Let me know how it turns out.

Glennis said...

My Husband really enjoys the taste of Jack fruit and always buys plenty while we are in Malaysia but I am not so keen on it, I go for banana fritters when he buys jack fruit ones. We have watched the ladies wearing their gloves scooping out the edible pieces of jack fruit, now we know why they wear them.

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