Lately, there has been news going around the world about the miracle fruit, which I was aware of, from local Singapore food markets, but never paid attention to it. The fruit is called jackfruit.
Jackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world. The exterior of this compound fruit is either green or yellow when ripe. The interior consists of large edible bulbs of yellow, flavoured flesh that encloses a smooth, oval, light-brown seed. There may be 100 or up to 500 seeds in a single fruit, which are viable for no more than three or four days. When fully ripe, the unopened jackfruit presents a smell that resembles that of rotten onions, while the pulp of the opened fruit smells like pineapple and banana.
There are two main varieties of jackfruits. On one hand, there are those where the fruits have small, fibrous, soft, mushy, but very sweet carpels with a texture somewhat akin to a raw oyster; on the other hand, there is a variety that has flesh that is crisp and almost crunchy though not quite as sweet. The latter type of jackfruit is the one we tend to find commercially and is known to be more palatable to western tastes.
It can be eaten ripe, and is soft, fruity and delicious; or unripe, where the texture of the flesh is reminiscent of that of potatoes. Jackfruits are used equally in sweet and savoury dishes, from jackfruit curries to stir-fries, from chips to ice-creams. The seeds of the fruit once dried and grounded and also be used to make baking flour.
Jackfruit is a fruit that offers numerous health benefits, not only is it a good source of Vitamin C, the seeds are rich in protein, potassium, Calcium and Iron. Its isoflavones, antioxidants, and phytonutrients also mean that jackfruit has cancer-fighting properties. A fibrous fruit, it is also known to help cure ulcers and indigestion.
During a chat with my bar team and development of new menu, one of the bartenders did an amazing puree, which I fell in love and start using it anywhere possible. See it in the cocktail recipe below.
50 ml Jackfruit puree*
100 ml Dry Prosecco
Combine both ingredients in a chilled champagne flute, gently stir and garnish with physalis.
*Combine 500 gr fresh jackfruit together with caster sugar and quickly blend until it becomes a puree. Add sugar as per your taste, add water to dilute if too thick.
Bartender’s Note: Jackfruit is the national fruit of Bangladesh and is the second most important crop after mangoes. Aside from being a source of food, jackfruit tree provides:
-Orange colouring from its barks, traditionally used for monk’s robes.
-Sticky latex substance that can be used as glue.
-Wood from the trees is used as timber.