Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) is a fast-growing hardy tree that does not need much maintenance. Harvesting mature fruit will take some patience, but with the largest recorded fruit weighing 35kg (77 lb) it can be worth the wait.
DId I mention the taste? Jackfruit is one of the best tasting fruits on the planet.
Several Ways to Eat Jackfruit
In recent years, green jackfruit has also become as well-known as a vegan meat substitute. You may be familiar with jackfruit burger patties or pulled ‘pork’ made from unripe jackfruit.
In regions where jackfruit grows prolifically, people have long used unripe jackfruit as a savory cooking ingredient. This is convenient for managing the overall weight of fruit on a tree and spreading the harvest out over a longer period of time.
Personally, I prefer ripe jackfruit. It is one of my favorite fruits for taste.
If you freeze ripe jackfruit segments, it tastes like ice cream for adults! (Unprocessed Sorbet would be an accurate name)
The large seeds can also be eaten. When roasted, the seeds have a nutty flavor.
Cutting a Jackfruit
The outer skin of the jackfruit is softer than you may expect. Removing the fruit segments from the internal pith is more of a challenge.
There is a single large seeds inside each segment. The seeds are easy enough to eat around, so removing the seeds during preparation is optional.
Jackfruit Tree Maintenance
Jackfruit trees require little work. The dark waxy leaves are disease and pest resistant. The jackfruit tree is tolerant of a wide range of dry and wet conditions, although I did manage to lose a mature tree to flood.
Left to their own, a jackfruit tree will grow very large. You probably want to manage the height of the tree, and also the combined weight of fruit and branches may need attention for a mature tree.
I recommend pruning off all branches on the lower 3rd of the tree. This encourages fruit setting on the strongest part of the tree, and enhances the dramatic effect of the massive fruit sprouting from the tree trunk.
For more details, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackfruit