Indonesian Fruit Installment 18: Jackfruit, Nangka
Meet the largest fruit in the whole wide world: jackfruit, known in Indonesia as nangka. I should clarify and say it is the largest fruit that comes from a tree because there is some Internet debate about varieties of pumpkin constituting the world’s biggest fruit. The biggest jackfruits on record weigh over 80 pounds.
Jackfruit grows all over South and Southeast Asia, so the photos in this blog come from Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Singapore. Just note the comparison here next to some pineapple:
And here’s the jackfruit in all its glory growing on trees:
Jackfruits are split open and the edible bit is the yellow pod with seeds inside, but don’t eat the seed.
Jackfruit has a distinct taste that is fruity but it also tends to linger because it is a strong flavor. I cannot eat very many pieces of jackfruit at a time because the taste becomes somewhat off putting to me.
The fruit’s flesh is waxy and it is slightly crunchy, just slightly.
In Indonesian cuisine, young jackfruit is cooked in coconut milk creating a very sweet curry-like dish known as gudeg. Gudeg hails from Yogyakarta, Central Java, Indonesia. It’s usually served with some rice and chicken — in the photo below gudeg is the dark purple/brown component. I enjoy the taste of gudeg, but some people complain that its sweetness is overpowering. Dried out jackfruit chips make for a good snack and you can usually find them in oleh-oleh, souvenir, stores in Indonesia.