Picture taken in Kerala, India (2006).
This month’s Jihva for Ingredients, started by Indira of Mahanandi a year ago, is dedicated to this glorious Indian fruit. The response to Jihva has been very heartfelt and enthusiastic. This event embodies the essence and uniqueness of one of the world’s great culinary traditions.
We are honoured to be able to host this event as it enters its second year. We wish to thank Indira for this opportunity. We hope this level of participation continues in the years to come.
The jackfruit is indigenous to India, but spread early throughout Southeast Asia, and now grows in Africa and Latin America as well. In Kerala, even the smallest home on the tiniest plot of land is likely to have a jackfruit tree alongside the mandatory coconut and mango.
The jackfruit tree is unique for several reasons. It bears the is largest tree-borne fruit in the world. A single fruit can weigh as much as 36 kilograms and be a meter long and 75 centimeters in diameter. This giant fruit is related to the tiny mulberry, and is a cousin of the breadfruit. All about the jackfruit here.
To bear this weight, the flowers and fruits of jackfruit do not grow on branches. They grow directly on the tree forks or tree trunks, sometimes even on the lower part of the trunks.
We, in India, relish the fruit green, cooked in various forms, as well as ripe. The fruit has a creamy sweetness with notes of pineapple and banana. The seeds, with their nutty taste and texture, are considered a real delicacy. High in Vitamin C and manganese, the jackfruit is a source of nourishment to many communities around the world. Nutrition Data.
Jackfruit has always been an integral part of Indian horticulture and cuisine. As explained here,
The jackfruit has played a significant role in the Indian agriculture (and culture) from times immemorial. Archeological findings in India have revealed that jackfruit was cultivated in India 3000 to 6000 years ago. Findings also indicate that Indian Emperor Ashoka the Great (274 – 237 BC) encouraged arbori-horticulture of various fruits including jackfruit. Varahamihira, the famous Indian astronomer, mathemetician, and astrologer wrote a chapter on the treatment of trees in his Brhat Samhita. One of the highlights of his treatise is a specific reference on grafting to be done on trees such as jackfruit. A method of grafting described was what is known today as ‘wedge grafting’.
The Portuguese, who first arived in Kerala in the late 1400s, helped add many words to the Malayalam lexicon, like ‘naranga‘ (for citrus fruit, from the Portuguese ‘naranja‘ ), and ‘karamboo’ (cloves). The Malayalees, in turn, contributed many culinary terms to European languages. The word ‘jackfruit’ comes from the Portuguese ‘jaca‘, which came from the Malayalam word ‘chakka‘.
Other names for the fruit: Panasam (Sanskrit), Fanas (Marathi), Panasa (Telugu/Oriya), Halasina Hannu (Kannada), Gujje (Tulu), Kathal (Hindi/Bengali, Punjabi), Palaapazham (Tamil). Jackfruit is the national fruit of Bangladesh and Indonesia.
Jackfruit can be found fresh at Thai or South-East Asian grocers. Ripe and green jackfruit are easily available in the canned form in South Asian and South East Asian stores.
To participate in this event:
1. Prepare a dish with this ingredient, and post it on your blog in the month of May. The choice of recipe is not restricted to Indian cuisine.
2. Please link to this event announcement, and feel free to use this logo:
3. Please send us an e-mail notifying us of your entry at email@example.com
Please use “JFI” to denote the subject matter.
4. If you do have a picture, please enclose it in 450 x 225 pixel size with your e-mail.
5. If you are a non-blogger, please send your recipe and picture with your e-mail.
6. The deadline for this event is June 1, 2007. The round-up will be posted by June 3.
We look forward to your creative contributions.
- Jai and Bee
Update (June 3, 2007): ROUNDUP HERE.