A few weeks back The Jackfruit Company contacted me to review some of their new products. I had seen their stuff in my local grocery store alongside other meat-free packaged foods and was intrigued. I’ve tried jackfruit before, buying a can at a local Asian market and trying my hand at making a vegan pulled “pork” dish and had some success. And then I forgot about the almighty jackfruit.
Jackfruit is a fruit (duh) native to Southeast Asia and is even the national fruit of Bangladesh. While typically enjoyed the same way we enjoy fruits in the West in their native lands, jackfruits have taken on a different culinary role here. They have become a quick and easy meat alternative for many vegetarian and vegan dishes – soaking up the flavors of the spices and sauces used, much like tofu.
I was excited to try some of the flavors, starting with the Sesame Ginger. I steamed some veggies and heated up some brown rice, topping it all with the spicy jackfruit. The flavors were spot on for a nice Asian-inspired bowl, yet… I found the texture very off-putting. My mouth was confused because it tasted good, but I did not enjoy the process of eating it.
I thought I’d try again with the Curry flavor, again over some brown rice. These flavors were powerful and spicy! If I could isolate the sauce and use it in other recipes I would, yet… again, I did not enjoy the texture. Perhaps jackfruit is too mushy for my tastes – I like having something to chew – but, I don’t think I’d be excited to try anything with jackfruit again soon.
Super-bummed about these experiences, I have to leave a mixed review. The Jackfruit Company clearly knows what it’s doing with its sauces – both were flavorful, vibrant, and the right amount of heat. Unfortunately, I just don’t think I’m a jackfruit person.
If you are a jackfruit person, what is your preferred way of preparing it?