Jackfruit - 2017’s Meatless Food Trend

Jackfruit - 2017's Meatless Food Trend

Written by Tyler Puckett

Native to South Asia, the jackfruit tree is a common sight, and also just happens to grow one of the largest fruits in the world. Amazingly, a single jackfruit can grow to weigh over 100 pounds (45kg)! So what exactly are they used for, and why is this quirky fruit set to be one of the biggest food trends of 2017?

Jackfruit is certainly not a new import to the Western Hemisphere, but over the past few years it has gradually begun to gain popularity in the United States and other western nations. As a raw fruit, the yellow pods within can be cut out and eaten. The tropical taste resembles a mango, but with a fibrous texture similar to that of a sweet potato.

Perhaps most notably to the less meat community is the fruit’s striking resemblance to the texture of pulled pork. Vegans, vegetarians, and reducetarians alike have begun using Jackfruit to create meatless dishes with the same stringy texture and rich taste of meat. One of our Instagram followers, @holisticliferocks, shared her pictures of jackfruit tacos and jackfruit nachos saying, “my family had no idea it was not meat. My husband thought it was pulled pork... my daughter thought it was shredded chicken!” This unique fruit offers a great way to explore a plant-based diet while maintaining the familiarity of meat. 

Whole jackfruits can often be found at specialty health foods stores or smaller Asian markets at a reasonably low price. However, they can be quite difficult to cut open and prepare. The easiest way to use jackfruit is to buy it canned. Or for an even more convenient option, check out The Jackfruit Company. Available at grocery stores across the country, their delicious meatless meals use jackfruit for BBQ sandwiches, teriyaki blends, and Tex-Mex tacos.

Curious to learn more? Watch Business Insider’s jackfruit taste test video below!