What is Jackfruit?

Our newest addition at AmaVida LTD is another exotic fruit but this time coming all the way from the land of a thousand gods, India. And like all great creations it is hard to be described worldwide with just one name. In the western world it is most commonly acknowledged as Jackfruit, in Brazil as Jaca and in India as Katahal.

I am a Jack fruit thorny and stout

Very rough on the outside and very sweet inside

Come little children, come and eat me

Mango may be the king but I am the Jack

What is Jackfruit?

The jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) is known for its distinct characteristics, it is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world. It is oblong-shaped and has a spiky outer skin of green or yellow colour, reaching a whopping size of 90 cm in length, 50 cm in diameter and weighing as much as 35 kg. Inside each fruit are hundreds of small, succulent yellow lobes. The yellow flesh of the fruit is starchy and fibrous and is a source of dietary fibre. The flavour is comparable to a combination of pineapple, banana, apple and mango. Originated in southwest India, where it grows abundantly, the Jackfruit thrives in humid tropical and near-tropical climates.

A spectacle for those who see the fruit bearing trees for the first time. Archaeologists have estimated that it has been growing in India for the past 6000 years. The fruit is extremely versatile as a food and a hit in different cuisines, it can be consumed on its own or used in sweet or savoury dishes, including curries, soups, salads and desserts.

What makes Jackfruit so special? 

In addiction to being the national fruit of Bangladesh, studies have shown that the Jackfruit contains an array of benefits, some include increasing red blood cell count and prevention of anaemia, improves digestion and energy levels, boosts immune system, has anti-aging properties, beneficial for the cardiovascular system, prevents colon cancer, protects eyes, reduces asthma symptoms, promotes bone health, increases sperm counts and so forth.

It has been described by experts as a ‘miracle’ food crop, that could be a replacement for staple crops that are under threat from climate change. According to a biotechnology researcher at the university of Agriculture Sciences in Bangalore, the richness in nutrients and calories provided by the fruit could possibly be utilised to help save millions of people from hunger. The researcher comments that if a person eats 10 to 12 bulbs, he or she won’t need food for another half a day.

Today we are proud and fortunate to be providing you with this exotic fruit and making it a part of your daily life. We work solemnly with organic products, that give back to our mother earth by working closely with sustainable farming.

The legend of Jackfruit 

This happened long long ago, when plants, animals and humans could talk to each other; there lived a big tree by name Jakkappa. The tree was so lovely and nice to everybody that birds, monkeys all played on the branches and when they became hungry, ate the fruits that hung from the tree. Jakkappa bore fruits which were small and yellow in colour and very very sweet. In fact, the bees also took the honey from the fruits. In the evening, groups of children used to come and play under the tree. One day a group of children who came to play became very hungry and decided to have the bright yellow fruits hanging from the tree. One of the boys climbed the tree to pluck the fruits, but came down immediately crying that all the fruits had been half eaten and there was not one single fruit which could be eaten. The children went home hungry and disappointed. Jakkappa saw what had happened and became dejected that he could not feed the hungry children.

Just then, Khaaja, the tailor came and sat under the tree to take some rest. Few drops of water fell on his head and he looked up wondering and was surprised to find that his friend Jakkappa was crying. He asked “What happened Jakkappa, why are you crying, did somebody hit you?” Jakappa replied “I am unhappy because I could not feed a group of hungry children. My lovely little sweet yellow fruits were all half eaten or fully eaten by the birds and monkeys which come and play on my branches. I am not able to protect my fruits. Khaaja thought for some time and then came up with an idea; “I will stitch a thorny jacket for your fruits, but there is still a problem. The fruits are very small and  there are many fruits and it would be very difficult for me make such small jackets. If you will allow me, I shall bunch a number of your little yellow fruits and stitch a big jacket”. Jakkappa readily agreed for the suggestion. Next day, he brought a big, thick, green, rough jacket and bunched the fruits and covered them with it. Jakkappa was very happy because the green colour would camouflage the fruits and the rough exterior would prevent the birds and animals eating it. Khaaja also gave the fruit the name ‘JACK’, son of Jakkappa.

The moral of the story as told by the father to Kaavya:”Do not get carried away by looks: a tough looking person may be gentle inside and sweet talking person may be very bad.