Wednesday, December 05, 2007
More on Jaca
The jackfruit is a fruit. The largest tree borne fruit in the world. When you chop it in half, at first glance it lies like a pineapple: yellow flesh that surrounds the seeds which look like brazil nuts. It's sticky work because the fruit has a sappy juice but you can eat the flesh which you can eat raw or puree or dry or crush and use in a number of ways and you can take the fibrous bits called "rag" and use them in jams and jellies. You can boil the seeds as you would rice then peel the skin off them, add salt and lime and wolf them down. Or you can throw them on the coals in a low fire, peel and eat. A little bit of tequila may assist, depending on the occasion. (Not for throwing on the fire, for taking a little sip after you've had a few seeds...the salt and the lime chime in quite nicely - am I giving away too many habits here?)
It's very rare that Australia gets mentioned as a producer but trees can be found throughout Brisbane as the climate is quite conducive to them. You just have to know what to look for. This is when having an Indonesian neighbour comes in very handy ~ the only thing left after she takes it from the tree is the smell. You can eat jackfruit unripe and ripe. The former tends to end up in curries as a vegetable. The latter ends up as a sweet or chutney given that it's quite sweet when ripened. You can also freeze the pulp and make an icecream from it.
And given that the fruit is packed with protein, carbs, vitamins and fibre, it's an all round good-o meal. It features quite heavily in Indian cuisine. A friend of mine made a kind of fritter/fritata from it. Yummo.
To me, it tastes like banana.