August 16, 2011

Jackfruit - Tropical Fruit Growers South Florida

A very special tropical fruit; Jackfruit. Cubans called this fruit "Guanabana"


Hi, my name is Julian Lara with Tropical Fruit Growers South Florida; we’re an association of farmers that specialize in growing tropical fruits. Right now we’re in a grove in The Redlands, an area south west of Miami.

Today we're going to talk about the gigantic, delicious, humongous jackfruit. As you can see it's bigger than my head, and I got a big head! It's like Juicy Fruit bubblegum, pineapple… what else… banana, all in an alligator-like skin. It’s humongous; and it’s pointy, a little pointy.

Wow I’m surrounded by jackfruit, I mean look at this, they’re growing nice and low to the ground at the end of the branches, we have them overhead, we have them way up here. Look at the size of that guy, that thing lands on your head and you’re done. It takes about 6 to 8 months to get from a small flower to this gigantic 40 to 50 pound jackfruit. They can get between 30 and 80 pounds, better watch out if you walk underneath here.

They’re native to India and Asia, they grow very well in tropical and subtropical climates, and that’s why you should take advantage and get yourself some South Florida jackfruits, which are very easily obtained at South Florida jackfruits ripen in the warm summer months here in South Florida and farmers know when to pick it when it gets light green to yellowish like this and they’re really soft, because these hard alligator skin-like forms just come right off, they just keep on going like this until you expose the flesh and you can just go in here and get a bulb out. In some countries they call them “monkey fruit” because the monkey just starts punching it until it gets the flesh out. You take right here, the bulb, the skin here… Juicy Fruit bubblegum. It’s crunchy; it’s sweet and has nice little chunks of flesh with a little seed inside of it.

All right we’re in the kitchen now and we have this jackfruit with us, I mean look at it, it’s humongous, it’s 26 pounds but it’s not the biggest one out there. Remember, jackfruit is the biggest fruit in the world; it can get up to 80 pounds, which is about this big.

Now jackfruits are available at your Asian markets but you can contact one of our growers at our website and they sell them by the pound. So, why don’t we open this jackfruit and see what’s inside. To open the fruit take a sharp knife and put a light coating of salad oil on it, this keeps the knife clean from any latex. Slice through the fruit into halves as you would a watermelon. As you can see there’s a central core running through this fruit and large seeds surrounding it. Looks like kernels on an ear of corn surrounding the cob. Each one of these seeds is a bulb of sweet flesh that tastes a lot like a mix of bananas and cantaloupe or some of you would say like Juicy Fruit chewing gum. This part can be eaten as is or made into ice-cream, jam, and jelly or added to soups, curry stews and fruit salads.

Jackfruits as a vegetable before it’s ripe, you cut it up into little pieces and boil them in water… take the seeds out roast them in the oven and they taste just like chestnuts. People also cut jackfruits when they’re green in slices and deep fry them like plantains. If you want to store jackfruits it’s very simple: all you’re going to do is take out the bulbs, remove the seeds, put them in a Ziploc bag and put it straight into your refrigerator, they’ll last for a few weeks. You can also put the Ziploc bag in the freezer and it will last about a year.

So if you want to get jackfruits better hurry up and go to our website

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