Y at Priorhouse has started a new challenge (thankfully a monthly challenge!) – Food. And this month the topic is veggies.
For this challenge, I chose something that doubles as a fruit and a vegetable. Technically it is a fruit but most people in India cook and eat it as a vegetable. Handling, cutting and dicing the raw fruit is a sticky, messy, dicey business and one must remember to lather the hands (and knife) with oil otherwise you are likely to be stuck forever and ever 😀
Okay, any idea what I am talking about? Difficult if you are not from this part of the world. This fruit is native to South and Southeast Asia and is believed to have originated in the Western Ghats of India.
Okay without any further ado – have a look:
Can you make out anything? Okay another closer shot for you.
Yep that’s the jack fruit
See the white gooey stuff near the neck? That is the stuff to watch out for, when handling the raw fruit.
When ripe, it is extremely sweet and fleshy. It has a distinct all pervading odor which can be rather overpowering. Keeping the ripe fruit in the refrigerator can be risky as everything is likely to reek of jack fruit. The inside of the jack fruit is composes of pods or bulbs each of which holds a seed. The seeds are cooked and eaten as well, though they are covered with a thick inedible cover which has to be removed.
While the vegetable avatar is quite popular all over the country and is available as chips, the fruit version (at least as far as I know) is consumed only by the Bengali community in India – anyone care to correct me? There are two varieties of the fruit pods. One is small, fibrous, soft, mushy and terribly sweet. If one is not careful while eating this, it can slip down the throat and cause choking – been there done that! I prefer the other variety which is crisp and chewy and is also less sweet.
By the way, the jack fruit is the national fruit of Bangladesh.
Hope you liked my offering for this month’s food – happy eating 🙂