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The Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) is a species of tree of the mulberry family (Moraceae) and its fruit, native to southwestern India, Bangladesh, Philippines and Sri Lanka, and possibly also east to the Malay Peninsula, though more likely an early human introduction there. It is well suited to tropical lowlands.


The fruit is huge, seldom less than about 25 cm in diameter. Even a relatively thin tree (circa 10 cm) can have huge fruits hanging on it. The fruits can reach 36 kg in weight and up to 90 cm long and 50 cm in diameter. The jackfruit is the largest tree borne fruit in the world.The sweet yellow sheaths around the seeds are about 3-5 mm thick and have a taste similar to pineapple but milder and less juicy.The English name jackfruit derives from Portuguese jaca, which is derived from Malayalam chakka. See below for other names of the fruit worldwide.

Cultivation and uses

Jackfruit is widely grown in South, Southeast Asia and northern Australia. It is also grown in parts of central and eastern Africa, Brazil, Suriname, and in islands of the West Indies such as Jamaica. It is the national fruit of Bangladesh and Indonesia.The jackfruit has played a significant role in the Indian agriculture (and culture) from time immemorial. Archeological findings in India have revealed that jackfruit was cultivated in India 3000 to 6000 years ago. Findings also indicate that Indian Emperor Ashoka the Great (274 - 237 BC) encouraged arbori-horticulture of various fruits including jackfruit. Varahamihira, the famous Indian astronomer, mathematician, and astrologer wrote a chapter on the treatment of trees in his Brhat Samhita. One of the highlights of his treatise is a specific reference on grafting to be done on trees such as jackfruit. A method of grafting described was what is known today as 'wedge grafting'. Science in India with Special Reference to Agriculture P.M. Tamboli and Y.L. Nene One of the earliest descriptions of the jackfruit is to be found in the 16th century memoirs of the Mughal Emperor Babar, who was not much enamored of it::"The jackfruit is ugly and to some people is bad tasting. It looks exactly like sheep intestines turned inside out like stuffed tripe. It has a cloyingly sweet taste. Inside it has seeds like hazelnuts that mostly resemble dates, but these seeds are round, not long. The flesh of these seeds, which is what is eaten, is softer than dates. It is sticky, and for that reason some people grease their hands and mouths before eating it. The fruit is said to grow on the branches, the trunk, and the roots of the tree and looks like stuffed tripe hung all over the tree". The Baburnama Trans. & Ed. Wheeler M. Thackston (New York) 2002 p345 The jackfruit is something of an acquired taste, but it is very popular in many parts of the world. An unopened ripe fruit can have a unpleasant smell, like rotting onions. The light brown to black seeds with white innards are indeed about the size of dates. People often oil their hands with coconut oil, kerosene, or paraffin before preparing jackfruit, as the rest of the fruit is a loose white mass that bleeds a milky, sticky sap often used as glue.

Commercial availability

The jackfruit bears fruit three years after planting.In the United States and Europe, the fruit is available in shops that sell exotic products, usually sold canned with a sugar syrup or frozen. It is also obtained fresh from Asian food markets. Sweet jackfruit chips are also often available.The wood is used for the production of musical instruments in Indonesia as part of the gamelan and in the Philippines, where its soft wood can be made into the hull of a kutiyapi, a type of Philippine boat lute. It is also used to make the body of the Indian drums mridangam and kanjira. It is also widely used for manufacture of furniture.

Dishes and preparations

Jackfruit is commonly used in South and Southeast Asian cuisines. It can be eaten unripe (young) or ripe, and cooked or uncooked. The seeds can also be used in certain recipes.Unripe (young) jackfruit can also be eaten whole. Young jackfruit has a mild flavour and distinctive texture. The cuisines of India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Vietnam use cooked young jackfruit. In many cultures, jackfruit is boiled and used in curries as a food staple.
  • Kathal Subzee: Spicy vegetable with raw jackfruit from Uttar Pradesh or Punjab, India.
  • Pilakkai Kandbu and Dosa: Sweet dishes made with ripe jackfruit from Mangalore, India.
  • Gujjeda Kajipu: Dry spicy curry of raw jackfruit from Mangalore, India.
  • Ghariyo: Jackfruit sweet dish from Mangalore, India.
  • Jackfuit Pappad: Jackfruit Pappad as a snack from Mangalore, India.
  • Chakka Pradaman: Jackfruit pudding from Kerala, India.
  • Enchorer Torkari: Curry made from unripe jackfruit from West Bengal, India.
  • Chakka Varatti: Jackfruit Jam from Kerala, India.
  • Chakka Vattal: Jackfruit Chips from Kerala, India.
  • Panasa Koora/Panasa Pottu Koora: Traditional Jackfruit Curry from coastal Andhra, India.[http://sjrecipes.angelcities.com/foods_from_india_2.htm#PANASA%20POTTU%20PLAIN%20KOORA]
  • Gudeg: traditional dish from Yogyakarta, Central Java, Indonesia.
  • Lodeh: traditional Indonesian vegetable dish with coconut milk.
  • Gule Nangka: traditional Indonesia spicy curry Indonesia.
  • Humba Nangka:curry made from unripe jackfruit and coconut milk Bohol, Philippines.
  • Gatti or Gidde in Tulu where ripe jackfruit is ground with rava to form thick paste which is put on a teak wood leaf and then cooked in steam. The gidde is ready.
  • An optional ingredient in Sayur asam (Indonesian clear soup; the name means tamarind vegetables)
  • Also ingredient in Indonesian traditional Minangkabau cuisine.
  • Jackfruit salad: Vietnamese dish with boiled young jackfruit.
  • Rice and curry in Sri Lanka
  • Fanas Poli: Sun dried Jackfruit pulp with sugar from Konkan.
  • The seeds can also be eaten cooked or baked like beans. They taste similar to chestnuts.

    Other preparations:

  • Jackfruit chips (e.g. Nafiri brand from Surabaya, Indonesia)
  • Asian ice desserts (including Indonesian & Filipino)
  • Turon, a Filipino dessert made of banana and jackfruit wrapped in an eggroll wrapper
  • Sometimes an added ingredient for cassava cake
  • An optional ingredient in kolak (an Indonesian mung bean and coconut based dessert).
  • It is thought that jackfruit is the basis for the flavour of Juicy Fruit chewing gum.
  • Jackfruit candy
  • Vitamin Water sells a jackfruit - guava (b+ theanine) beverage
  • Jackfruit smoothies or milkshakes
  • Names

    The fruit is called a variety of names around the world:;South Asian names
  • Bengali: কাঁঠাল Cãţtal (National fruit of Bangladesh), Enchor (the unripe fruit, used in curries)
  • Bhojpuri: Katahar
  • Kannada: Halasina hannu
  • Tulu: Gujje (unripe) and Pilakkai (ripe)
  • Konkani:"Ponos"
  • Gujarati: Phannasa
  • Hindi: Katahal
  • Nepali: Rukh kut-a-herr
  • Malayalam: Chakka
  • Marathi: फणस Phanas
  • Oriya: Panasa
  • Maldivian, sakkeyo (only the ripe fruitpulp is used)
  • Sinhala: Kos. Varaka / Vela (in its ripe state)
  • Tamil: Palaa / Varukkai (old Tamil)
  • Telugu: Panasa
  • Sanskrit: Panasam
  • ;Southeast Asian names
  • Cebuano: Nangka
  • Indonesian: Nangka
  • Lao: Mak mii
  • Malay: Nangka
  • Kapampangan: Yangka
  • Tagalog: Langka
  • Thai: ขนุน Kanoon
  • Vietnamese: Mít
  • ;East Asian names
  • Chinese: 波羅蜜 Bōluómì
  • Japanese: パラミツ Paramitsu
  • Korean: 바라밀 Baramil
  • ;West Asian name
  • Persian: Derakhte Nan
  • ;African names
  • Malagasy: Finésy
  • Swahili: Fenesi
  • Luganda: Fene
  • ;European and Latin American names
  • Icelandic: Saðningaraldin
  • Portuguese: Jaca
  • Spanish: Jaka; Fruta de Jack

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