• close family • small boat • big world •

That's Quite a Fruit, Jack

March 1, 2016

By Paula
At anchor, the Lagoon, Saint Martin

Nicole and her friend, Matthew, back in 2012 at H-Mart.

As an area with a fairly international population, our former home of Northern Virginia hosts numerous ethnic grocery stores. Among our favorites was H-Mart, a Korean supermarket known for its outstanding seafood section and the variety of unusual fruits and vegetables.

Back in 2012, I stopped by for a quick purchase at H-Mart with Nicole and her good friend, Matthew, after a summer excursion to play mini-golf. They were intrigued by the jackfruit, and I took a photo of them with the bumpy and massive fruit.

Little did I realize that jackfruit would eventually become a commonplace sighting in our daily lives. It grows on many Caribbean islands, and it isn't hard to miss.

At our visit to tiny Fort Island in Guyana, we spotted a jackfruit tree growing along the path that lead to the old fort. A highlight of our time on the island was visiting with Mohammad, a very friendly local man who insisted on giving us a large bag filled with fresh food from his land. Included was a jackfruit, the largest of all the world's fruits. Yes, it was huge!

The skin is a bizarre expanse of conical, but soft, bumps, Cutting into it reveals a yellow flesh with a
small, whitish center. The flesh has a stringy consistency where it attaches to the rind, though it is still quite edible. Even more delicious are the softer portions of flesh that surround the large white seeds. These bundles of sweet flesh easily pop away from the stringier sections, though removing them is a sticky and messy endeavor.

The taste is difficult to describe, but it is tropical with overtones of banana. The most difficult part of eating a jackfruit is finding enough people to share it with!

The jackfruit tree on Fort Island, Guyana