Jackfruit in Cambodia has slowly become another one of my favorites as the Kingdom slowly but surely becomes “home”. I truly do love trying new things, hence he street food obsession, but it is amazing so many fruits are popular in one country, but unknown in others. The jackfruit is not exactly unknown, but I certainly hadn’t heard of it until I came to live in the Kingdom of Cambodia. And my word what a discovery it was to be.
Is a Jackfruit like a Durian?
The durian is by far the more well known of these two fruits, simply because it smells so bad, but they are very different.
To read about the difference between jackfruit and durian click here .
What is a jackfruit in Cambodia?
OK, I did not need to add the “in Cambodia” part, but hell I have a theme so I will run with it. The jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus), also known as jack tree, it is closely related to the trees that make figs and breadfruit. I freaking love breadfruit and initially that is what I thought it was.
It truly is impressive to see the trees carry the weight of these fine fruits. The trees can produce from 200-500 fruits per year making this a great and easy to grow crop to feed the masses. It is used extensively in south-east Asian and South Asian cuisine. In fact it is the national fruit of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka!
You can read about the Bangladesh flag here .
How do you eat jackfruit?
Once a jackfruit is ripe you literally eat the flesh that surrounds the pip. The seeds are then kept from here you can boil them, or grill them and eat them. I’m yet to try it, but expect an upcoming blog when I finally do try it.
How does the jackfruit taste? That’s a tough one! A bit like a banana mixed with a pineapple in some respects, but also with heat citrus overtones. I threw a bunch into a glass of soda water and I have to say it was a success overall.
Obviously it i used in many desserts, which we will get into n a bit.
To read about Khmer desserts click here .
Jackfruit jelly in Cambodia
Cambodians use a seaweed concoction to make jello out of pretty much everything, very much mainstay of their dessert culture. This reminds me of a aether funny joke about the difference between jelly and jam, the answer being rather rude.
Today I was presented with the jackfruit jelly and it was not overly sweet, but had that wonderful jackfruit aroma and aftertaste. Another great Khmer dessert. As you will see from the photos it is also rather aesthetically pleasing.
Eating jackfruit seeds
I’m not a seed man, but I am always up for trying new things. Thus when I heard that you cold eat fried jackfruit seeds I was all about it. There;s different ways to cook it, but I went for the fried variety. Like a mixture between a roasted chestnut, a jacket potato and chips! A true treat that will get its very own article!
Jackfruit in Cambodia
Jackfruit is a big deal in Cambodia, they produce a lot of it and it is cheap. People would probably prefer a stinky durian, but durian is damned expensive. Therefore you will see jackfruit being sold and indeed eaten throughout Cambodia, and it is certainly a new favourite fruit of mine.
Alas I am yet to find a liquor made with this fine fruit, but I’s be all about a bit of jackfruit moonshine.