A new dish to the Tapas menu for 2016, our Pulled Jackfruit and Courgette Noodles has been something of a hit.
But what is it? Despite it being a popular dish, nobody knows much about the Jackfruit, so here is our beginner’s guide.
Though an important part of Indian and South East Asian agriculture for millennia, in fact archaeological findings have shown Jackfruit to have been cultivated up to 6,000 years ago, it is a relatively recent addition to western menus.
The Jackfruit is huge. It is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world — one fruit can weigh between 5 and 50kg and contain hundreds of the seeds that are rich in protein, potassium, calcium, and iron.
It is hailed by some as the new miracle crop that could save the world from starvation. That may seem odd as it has been around for 6,000 years, but researchers have suggested it could replace wheat, corn and other staple crops that may come under threat because of climate change as it is highly resistant to pests and drought and give a big nutritional return for the area of land it needs to grow on.
It has also become something of a rave food in Vegetarian and Vegan circles.
Beneath its tough gnarled exterior the seed pods taste somewhere between a pear and a pineapple. However it is its use in savoury dishes, particularly seen as a close approximation of pulled pork, which has those who opt for a meat-free diet excited.
Entertainment magazine E! cited it as a “hot new vegan ingredient” after spotting it taking pork belly’s place in baos (steamed buns) at Susan Feniger’s Street Food in LA.
In London, vegan street-food and supper-club contingent Club Mexicana uses it in burritos and tacos to what the Guardian call “delicious effect”. They say it is their most popular dish by far, and suppliers are struggling to keep up with demand.
Meriel Armitage, Cook and owner of Club Mexicana, said in an interview that it has been around in Vegan inner circles for longer than people think. “It has been used for years by veterans of the vegan scene, but it has been kept a bit of a chef’s secret”.
Pulled jackfruit is made from the younger fruit – “green jackfruit”.
At Tapas we combine our shredded jackfruit with courgette noodles, and serve with a soy, orange, chilli and parsley dressing.
As to whether it tastes like pulled pork, to be honest opinion among our customers is divided. But as to whether it tastes good, there is far less difference in opinion. Pulled Jackfruit with Courgette Noodles has been one of our big hits of the summer. If you have not tried it yet, we hope you soon will.