Adventures in Jackfruitland

Written summer 2022 (over a period of months…): So we bought a jackfruit... an unripe jackfruit (because we don't know jack about jackfruit...) What do you do with an unripe jackfruit? Well, most of it is said to be edible.

That noted, the seeds didn't soften as they should and will need to be boiled again, and the "rags" (the fibrous pith that surrounds the fruit) that I baked in a sh*t ton of spices and oil are basically spiced fiber and not much else (tasty "snacks" was the advertisement of the recipe that was my inspiration). Maybe if I doused it in sauce it would be "meat-like." Perhaps texturally, but not in taste. Do not recommend. The "rags" or pith are trash, truly.

The fruit itself is... unripe, so not as soft as it should be. All the recipes are from vegans creating "pork" or "chicken" in various forms. I think I will try a chile verde.

The chile verde didn't work out because we didn't have beans, so what I did was make a green chile soup with the seeds (which I
think can be eaten. I know ripe seeds can be, but internet varies with unripe seeds.) I added too much chile, but otherwise it's edible— and has not yet killed me.

So that left the fruit. No beans, so no chile verde. I decided to go the "pulled pork" route with the fruit. I threw the fruit, some onions, tomatoes and spices into my Instant Pot and let it rip for about 10 minutes. (Anyone with an Instant Pot will know that it take much more than 10 minutes).

When I opened the Instant Pot, it was watery and SWEET. The fruit before cooking had not been sweet, but during cooking (with only savory spices) the fruit turned sweet. The amount of water in the pot was beyond too much, and as everything (except the jackfruit) was basically mush, I didn't want to leave it on the heat to boil off the liquid.

So I strained the solids out of the liquid, then boiled the liquid to condense it. In NO WAY was the jackfruit anything like pulled pork. I think the cooked unripe fruit might be suitable for a pie filling or a fruit topping for (nondairy!) ice cream, but pulled pork it is not.

I won't say it was inedible, we did, in the end eat most of it. But unless you like your dinner sweet, ignore vegans proffering jackfruit as "meat."

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