The largest tree fruit in the world, jackfruit -- sometimes called "jak fruit" or "jak" -- can be up to 3 feet long and 20 inches wide. Just one fruit can weigh as much as 110 pounds. But you're not alone if you haven't heard of it.

While jackfruit first appeared in the rain forests of Southeast Asia, farmers now grow it in many parts of the world, including Australia, Africa, and Brazil. Only in recent years has jackfruit started to become well known in the U.S.

Jackfruit is in the same family as figs and mulberries. It's skin is green or yellow and spiky, and each of its pods has a seed that is about an inch long.


What Does Jackfruit Taste Like?

It depends on how ripe it is. Unripe jackfruit has a mild flavor. You can use it as a meat substitute, like tofu or tempeh. Its stringy texture means that it’s great for vegetarian barbecue.

Meanwhile, ripe jackfruit is sweet and tropical. It tastes like a mix of banana, mango, and pineapple. The texture is dense and firm like pineapple. You can eat it by itself or add it to smoothies.


Types of Jackfruit

There are many different kinds of jackfruit. They fall into two categories: firm and soft.

Firm varieties tend to be more mild-tasting and have crunchier skins. They include:

  • Cochin: This type is smaller than others, weighing less than 5 pounds per fruit. 
  • Dang Rasimi: This type, which can also be soft, has a mild, sweet taste.
  • Honey Gold: This type has a rich, sweet taste and excellent firm texture.

Soft varieties tend to be spongier and sweeter. They include:

  • Black Gold: This type smells sweet and has easy-to-remove pods.
  • Cheena: This is a highly rated variety with a beautiful scent. Its flesh is easily removed.
  • Golden Nugget: This type is known for its excellent flavor.


Jackfruit Nutrition

Jackfruit is a great addition to a healthy diet. It’s rich in fiber, protein, and other nutrients.

One cup of raw, sliced jackfruit has:

  • 157 calories
  • 2.8 grams of protein, which is 6% of the reference daily intake (RDI)
  • 1.1 grams of fat (1% RDI)
  • 38.3 grams of carbohydrate (14% RDI)
  • 2.5 grams of fiber (9% RDI)

One cup of canned jackfruit (drained of syrup) has:

  • 164 calories
  • 0.6 grams of protein (6% RDI)
  • 0.3 grams of fat (less than 1% RDI)
  • 42.5 grams of carbohydrate (15% RDI)
  • 1.6 grams of fiber (6% RDI)


Jackfruit Vitamins and Minerals

Jackfruit is packed with essential vitamins and minerals you need for good health. It’s a particularly good source of B vitamins, potassium, and vitamin C.

One cup of raw, sliced fruit has:

  • 22.6 mg of vitamin C (25% RDI)
  • 0.5 mg of vitamin B6 (29% RDI)
  • 1.5 mg of niacin (vitamin B3) (9% RDI)
  • 0.1 mg of riboflavin (vitamin B2) (8% RDI)
  • 39.6 mg of calcium (3% RDI)
  • 47.8 mg of magnesium (11% RDI)
  • 739 mg of potassium (16% RDI)
  • 34.6 mg of phosphorus (3% RDI)

One cup of canned fruit (drained of syrup) has:

  • 0.9 mg of vitamin C (1% RDI)
  • Less than 0.1 mg of vitamin B6 (less than 6% RDI)
  • 1.2 mg of niacin (vitamin B3) (8% RDI)
  • Less than 0.1 mg of riboflavin (vitamin B2) (less than 8% RDI)
  • 78.3 mg of calcium (6% RDI)
  • 17.8 mg of magnesium (4% RDI)
  • 171 mg of potassium (4% RDI)
  • 10.7 mg of phosphorus (1% RDI)

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