Over the past few years, young jackfruit has exploded onto the global food scene, emerging from relative obscurity to become an emerging plant-based staple that is here to stay. Consumers rave about jackfruit's meaty texture, which makes it hard to believe this plant-based ingredient comes from a tree rather than an animal! When harvested young, the starches in the fruit haven't yet converted into sugar, meaning that it has a neutral taste profile which easily absorbs whatever flavors it is cooked in, making it a delicious, healthy, and sustainable alternative to meat.
As a whole, unprocessed plant food, jackfruit's nutritional profile can't be beat by animal meat or processed plant-based meats. Every bite is packed with fiber, vitamins, carbohydrates, and potassium (to name a few!), making it a low-calorie, heart-healthy, and diabetes-friendly ingredient that can be incorporated into almost every cuisine!
Jackfruit also has one of the best environmental profiles of any crop and has been hailed as a miracle crop for its potential to improve food security. These abundant trees can be cultivated without any herbicides or pesticides, are resistant to drought, pests, and disease, and can stick it out even as climate change makes other crops difficult to farm.
As the largest tree-borne fruit in the world with incredible yields--one tree can produce between 2-3 tons of fruit per year--National Geographic and agricultural researchers have praised its potential as a food source. Its natural abundance and rich nutritional profile have given it the name "rice tree" in Sri Lanka and other countries where it is native to. At Karana, we're passionate about developing and sharing the delicious potential of this hidden and underutilized Southeast Asian gem, while making it more accessible and fun for chefs at every level to cook with!