Jackfruit seems to be taking over the vegan meat substitute world these days, with one national supermarket even stocking a prepackaged Sweet and Smoky BBQ Pulled Jackfruit and BBQ jackfruit sandwiches popping up on many a vegan restaurant menu now.
Back in 2002 we were in Southern India and frequently bought fruit from the local ladies for a healthy breakfast. Our most gregarious and therefore successful seller/buyer relationship was with Lily. Her small stature and flashing white smile belied the demon businesswoman she was. She would have given Alan Sugar a run for his money for sure. One day she said she would get us some jackfruit, something she didn't have as regular 'stock'. True to her word she did and the three of us sat down on the beach to share and devour this huge fruit. That was an example of how good a saleswoman she was; we bought it and we all shared it! Not that we begrudged it in the very least, especially as the prices she charged were not only cheap but also far from ripping off the local tourists (but maybe we got mates rates?!). Either way we were more than happy to 'buy local' and get the enigmatic smile of Lily thrown in for free.
To us back then jackfruit was just a tasty tropical fruit. Who would have thought all these years later that it would have become such a vegan staple. I wonder what Lily would make of all that now? You don't see fresh jackfruit much around these parts due to its size and tropical origins, but it is becoming widely available in tins. We've even seen tins of organic jackfruit recently, and the price can vary considerably. If you have a local 'world foods' type store nearby, they will be sure to have some.
The most familiar guise of jackfruit in the vegan world today seems to be in BBQ pulled jackfruit sandwiches but it is equally suitable for many other dishes such as creamy curries, Mexican tacos, or Chinese inspired stir fries. We've recently been taking the BBQ jackfruit idea and adding it to the top of pizzas. With our friend from Vegan Laptop Lunchbox coming round for a natter and showering us in jackfruit gifts, we've had plenty to experiment with too.
So as tasty as a pulled jackfruit sandwich might be, there are many more options to explore with this versatile fruit. This Vegan Food and Living page is a great place to start but any web search will turn up a multitude of options too. It's time to think outside the jackfruit box!