Somewhat Dank

 

Jackfruit tree, via Wikimedia Commons

The priests at our church are from Kochin, India. At some point in our friendship, they mentioned that they loved jackfruit. I was somewhat taken aback because the only time I had encountered jackfruit was in Africa, where chimpanzees fight over it. I didn’t mention that to my priests.

At any rate, there is a neighbor a few doors down from me who has a jackfruit tree. I had told her that our priests loved jackfruit, so she called me a few days ago to say that the jackfruit were falling on the ground and I could take as many as I wanted to my priests. So I stopped by her house two days ago and put a bag of jackfruit in the back of my car. I planned to take them to the church the next day. When I got into my car the next morning the smell was horrendous. I took the bag of fruit to the church and had to leave my windows open all day.

So I looked up on YouTube how to prepare jackfruit and I encountered a video from Miami Fruit Company on that topic. The young lady describing jackfruit was beautiful, vivacious and very earnest in her efforts. She explained the different uses for unripe jackfruit (often used as a meat substitute) and for ripe jackfruit, and then went on to explain how you can tell if a jackfruit is ripe. My ears perked up at this point. She held up a small fruit and sniffed it deeply. She paused and explained that when ripe it smells somewhat dank.

Somewhat dank?!! I don’t know exactly what the meaning of dank is, but a ripe jackfruit smells like an overflowing latrine.

The comments on that video matched my impression. The young girl was delightful to watch and I admired her ability to describe the aroma of a ripe jackfruit so tactfully. I think she has a future in politics.

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There are 14 comments.

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  1. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    I guess if you’re in Africa, you learn to somehow appreciate and eat whatever grows.

     

    • #1
  2. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    When we lived in Qatar we had a housekeeper/cook from Sri Lanka. She loved jackfruit and would always want to cook it for us and would bellow: “jackfruit madam – tastes like fish”. I don’t remember eating it.

    If you want a really stinky fruit try durian – what the Indonesians call the king of fruit. It smells like rotting garbage, has the look of a fetal pig, is very slimy, and has a garlicky aftertaste – at least that was my one and only encounter with it.

    • #2
  3. AMD Texas Coolidge
    AMD Texas
    @DarinJohnson

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    When we lived in Qatar we had a housekeeper/cook from Sri Lanka. She loved jackfruit and would always want to cook it for us and would bellow: “jackfruit madam – tastes like fish”. I don’t remember eating it.

    If you want a really stinky fruit try durian – what the Indonesians call the king of fruit. It smells like rotting garbage, has the look of a fetal pig, is very slimy, and has a garlicky aftertaste – at least that was my one and only encounter with it.

    Indonesians also love jackfruit. I’m not so wild about it. My wife does cook it now and again but she has it all to herself.

    • #3
  4. Southern Pessimist Member
    Southern Pessimist
    @SouthernPessimist

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    When we lived in Qatar we had a housekeeper/cook from Sri Lanka. She loved jackfruit and would always want to cook it for us and would bellow: “jackfruit madam – tastes like fish”. I don’t remember eating it.

    If you want a really stinky fruit try durian – what the Indonesians call the king of fruit. It smells like rotting garbage, has the look of a fetal pig, is very slimy, and has a garlicky aftertaste – at least that was my one and only encounter with it.

    I think durian, jackfruit and breadfruit are from the same family. From the few people I know who have eaten it, jackfruit actually tastes pretty good. It is an enormous amount of work to cut it up however.

    • #4
  5. Southern Pessimist Member
    Southern Pessimist
    @SouthernPessimist

    I think the first human who ate jackfruit was a lot like the first person to eat a raw oyster. He was obviously very hungry at the time.

    • #5
  6. MoFarmer Coolidge
    MoFarmer
    @mofarmer

    “like an overflowing latrine”  That was harsh.

    • #6
  7. Chuck Coolidge
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Used to walk past an open air restaurant in Singapore for whom durian was a seasonal specialty.  Never stopped, never tempted to.

    Years later a friend in Miami grew jackfruit and liked it.

    Never tried it, myself.

    (Didn’t I see Jackfruit once at Walmart? )

     

    • #7
  8. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Southern Pessimist (View Comment):

    I think the first human who ate jackfruit was a lot like the first person to eat a raw oyster. He was obviously very hungry at the time.

    Or maybe he was Scottish.

    “It’s like all Scottish cuisine is based on a dare!”

     

    • #8
  9. Southern Pessimist Member
    Southern Pessimist
    @SouthernPessimist

    MoFarmer (View Comment):

    “like an overflowing latrine” That was harsh.

    Leave a bag of them in your car overnight and we can quibble over harsh.

    • #9
  10. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    Durian is a “special” treat in China.  Some of the locals seem addicted to it.  It was so odiferous, that the subways and busses specifically banned eating it on the transports. 

    It reminds me of “stinky dofu” in Taiwan.  Smells like sewer, but tastes like rotten tofu, which resembles sewer. 

    • #10
  11. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    I have to be careful here because some of the most delicious cheeses smell like bad feet. So I guess anything is possible. People get used to the strangest things.

    I remember that when the Olympics were held in China, for a while we were all treated to lotsa news about stuff they routinely eat there. Stuff that was not exactly General Two’s chicken. I remember many large insects, deep fried in batter. Not sure how any of it smelled, but I’m good.

    • #11
  12. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Southern Pessimist (View Comment):

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    When we lived in Qatar we had a housekeeper/cook from Sri Lanka. She loved jackfruit and would always want to cook it for us and would bellow: “jackfruit madam – tastes like fish”. I don’t remember eating it.

    If you want a really stinky fruit try durian – what the Indonesians call the king of fruit. It smells like rotting garbage, has the look of a fetal pig, is very slimy, and has a garlicky aftertaste – at least that was my one and only encounter with it.

    I think durian, jackfruit and breadfruit are from the same family. From the few people I know who have eaten it, jackfruit actually tastes pretty good. It is an enormous amount of work to cut it up however.

    I have never butchered one, but I’ve seen the instructions, and it does look labor-intensive.  The ones you had must have been a smaller variety than I have seen, if you fit multiple of them in a bag.  The ones I have seen would each fill up a grocery sack by themselves.

    • #12
  13. Chowderhead Coolidge
    Chowderhead
    @Podunk

    Southern Pessimist (View Comment):

    MoFarmer (View Comment):

    “like an overflowing latrine” That was harsh.

    Leave a bag of them in your car overnight and we can quibble over harsh.

    That’s accurate. I had it once 25 years ago when I was working in Penang, Malaysia. This was long before the tsunami. The taste is completely different than the smell. I seem to remember it had a sweet perfumed taste, much like a mango. I didn’t like it but not that it had a foul taste. 

    The hotel made me sign a paper saying it wouldn’t be brought onto the property. It’s that bad, evidently after it ferments a bit it get worse.

     

    • #13
  14. Nanocelt TheContrarian Member
    Nanocelt TheContrarian
    @NanoceltTheContrarian

    To my taste jackfruit is delicious. It is mild, sweet, and firm. It takes a lot of work to extract the edible fruit though. I have sat for a couple of hours with a friend removing the pods of fruit from the fibrous material around the sections of fruit. We are a lot fresh, but also made jackfruit preserves. Great stuff.

    I grew up in the Southwest and never saw a jackfruit until well in to middle age.

    • #14
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