Jackfruit has recently grown in popularity; you'll see it on menus serving as a meat alternative in tacos and as a vegan version of pulled pork. And lots of videos on YouTube and other sites show people trying the fruit on its own. What people may not realize is that there's fresh jackfruit and canned jackfruit, and there's a world of difference between the two.
Once you've tried a bite of fresh jackfruit, you'll pick up on one of the most noticeable differences between this kind and the canned variety. Fresh, ripe jackfruit, which has been compared to mango, apple, and banana in taste, is usually much sweeter than canned jackfruit that has been packed in brine or water. Some canned or packaged jackfruit is packed in syrup making it fairly sweet and more similar to the fresh fruit.
The difference in taste between fresh and canned jackfruit may also be attributed to the ripeness of the fruit itself. It's usually the green, unripe jackfruit that appears in the cans. Canned jackfruit that has been packed in brine may actually taste salty, and that's usually why it's recommended to rinse this kind in water to dial down the sodium content before cooking with it. The canned jackfruit is also often described as having a meaty taste and texture. Fresh jackfruit is firmer and more stringy than jackfruit from a can, which tends to be softer.
Ways To Enjoy Fresh And Canned Jackfruit
Fresh jackfruit is a wonder to behold. The fruit itself is bumpy and massive, weighing up to 40 pounds and reaching nearly 2 feet in length. Native to Asia, fresh jackfruit can be a challenge to prepare. You need to cut open the fruit and remove the pods, which are the parts most people eat. But before you take a bite of one of those pods, remember to remove the seed from it. The seeds are also edible, but you need to cook and peel them first.
If the fresh jackfruit is ripe, it's usually just eaten raw. It would be great in a fruit salad or on top of yogurt or ice cream. Canned jackfruit, on the other hand, is often cooked because it has a mild taste that picks up other flavors in a recipe. Canned jackfruit pairs well with barbeque sauce, making it a great swap for chicken or pork in a sandwich. It also works well as a star ingredient in a vegetable curry or as a vegan riff on carnitas. Recipes usually call for canned jackfruit since it's more widely available. It'll likely take some work to find a fresh jackfruit, though Asian markets and specialty shops may sell them.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.