I've always been a fan of tropical fruit, in fact, a lot of the time I center my vacations around the beach, heat, and fruit. Three years ago while in Fiji and Australia, I had the most amazing pleasure of indulging in fresh jack fruit. I would often treat myself to a morning at the beach with a breakfast of jack fruit from the Byron Bay farmers market. Two words to describe it - juicy heaven. It is said that jackfruit is the inspiration behind juicy fruit gum, so that might gives you an idea of the taste (I loved it growing up).
Here's a bunch of amazing fruit that I picked and ate in Australia. You can see the big jack fruit on the bottom left... also pictured (in random order) are sapotes, avocados, atemoyas, cherimoyas (another of my fave fruits), star fruit, baby bananas, tamarillos, persimmons, mandarin oranges, kiwi, paw paw (like papaya), and ice cream beans (which are totally amazing - like little "melt in your mouth" cotton balls).
Jack fruit is the largest tree borne fruit in the world, and can weight up to 100 lbs each! I was in awe of them hanging off the trees in Fiji like decorations (very heavy ones!). The fruit contains heaps of bright yellowy/orange chewy, sweet, pulp covered seeds - Some fruits had firmer pods, while others were softer - I prefer the firm ones.
A unique property of the fruit is it's extremely sticky sap which is used as an adhesive! Despite knowing this, I accidently got some on me one day... let me say, it's damn annoying because nothing gets it off! I tried coconut oil, olive oil, soap.... nope... just had to wait a few days as I kept trying to scrape it off my skin with my finger nails.
This past Christmas my amazing friend Courtney (Radical Radiance) sent me 2 bags of dried jackfruit from Viva Pura - the only raw food store I've seen who carries the dried fruit. I was seeeriously excited! She knows me well and said I'd like it dipped in dark chocolate. I tried it - oh man, even MORE heavenly!
I also soaked some for use in a pudding. Soaking it reminds me of eating the fresh stuff... ah, again one day... anyway, my pudding was a mixture of:
Young coconut pulp
I couldn't resist making jackfruit ice cream! I served this up for dessert last evening when a friend was over for dinner - I told her about the juicy fruit gum connection and she was like "omg yeah, it totally does taste like that!" I topped it with cacao nibs, macadamias, and placed the scoops on top of chopped bananas. I would like to make it again with the addition of mango.
Jackfruit Ice Cream
1/2 cup packed, dried jackfruit
Soaked in 1 3/4 cups water
1 1/2 cups cashews
1 medium orange, peeled and seeded
1/3 cup agave
2 tsp lemon juice
Turmeric, for colour
Allow the jackfruit to soak for 6 hours, or as long as 12 hours.
Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.
Chill for a few hours in the fridge.
Process through an ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions.
Have you tried jack fruit, or any other really cool tropical fruits?