Ubud market, Bali
Cutting the fruit yourself will certainly save you money and you will have fun doing it too! We buy half a jackfruit at a time…and more often than not it ends up disappearing in 1 day!
What’s the fruit like?
It’s sweet and absolutely delicious, can’t really compare it to anything as it has a very unique taste, but I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like it. It may look a little bit like a durian, but don’t worry, it tastes (and smells) nothing like it!
The texture can’t be compared to anything either, the closest I can think of is medium aged coconut flesh; slightly chewy, filling and satisfying.
You can’t really miss a jackfruit tree, the fruit are pretty massive and spiky! You can see smaller ones (about the size of a watermelon) sold at markets, but we were told that those are only for cooking. I did buy one once out of curiosity, but it was totally inedible raw.
When you cut the jackfruit, you will see a sticky latex oozing out – you don’t want to touch that with your bare hands, but if you do, that’s ok, read my tip below on how to handle it. It’s good if its sticky, it just means the fruit is ripe.
The edible bits are the small bulbs (about the length of your finger, or longer if it’s very ripe). They have a very large seed inside, so when you take that out, you only get left with the outer shell, which is only perhaps 1/4 of the entire fruit (you will get a lot of rubbish!).
What to do with the sticky latex (ooze) of the jackfruit:
There are several techniques:
Most important tip: don’t use gloves – they will stick to the jackfruit and rip almost right away.
When you bring the jackfruit home, it will have a decent layer of latex on it, you can get rid of that in 2 ways: by taking a plastic bag and literally wiping it off, or you can do the same using a lemon slice.
When you get down to cutting it, the best thing to do is to oil your hands before touching anything (this is when you could use gloves if you wanted to, as long as they’re well oiled). Go for an oil that has little scent, or one thats not going to bother you. Some good ones would be coconut oil or grape seed oil, personally I used cedar oil, but that is hard to obtain.
Don’t use your best knife for this and make sure to oil it beforehand too, its really quite a pain getting rid of the stickiness once it grabs hold of your knife.
If you do get ooze on your hands, don’t worry – just put some oil on them and wash them in warm water, that will get it out in no time!
What to watch out for:
Some bits of the jackfruit may be a little off. You can easily spot them because it will have a pinky-brownish colour and the smell will be different too. Sometimes the jackfruit on top of these bad spots are ok, its just a matter of smelling them to make sure. Below is a picture of a bad spot.