One of the weirdest looking fruits of summer is jackfruit. It has a thick green knobby skin, could pass for some kind of alien pod. A full-grown fruit may easily weigh 30 to 40 pounds.
Farmer Margie sells whole fruits of varying sizes on her summertime online store. She also cuts 3 pound chunks to order.
Opening one of these fruits is not for the weak of hand or faint of heart. You’ll need a big, sharp knife to pierce the thick skin, and the blade, your hands and the cutting board all need to be thoroughly oiled so the latex sap doesn’t stick.
You can’t just cut open the fruit, peel it and pop it in your mouth. Its white/gray “rags” or connective membranes are inedible in most varieties and need to be removed. The edible part of the fruit looks like a firm yellow pouch, which contains a large oval seed. You can blanch and roast seeds, or boil in brine, to make a snack that has a taste and texture of chestnuts.
When it’s ripe, jackfruit has a strong sweet, distinctive aroma, and gives off a good bit of ethylene gas (which can ripen other things in your refrigerator if you’re not careful.) It tastes like a blend of banana, pineapple and vanilla, and has a chewy texture. You can also eat the fruit green or unripe (but be extra careful with the sticky sap, which is greatly reduced when the fruit is fully ripe), and season it like you would curry or chili, or cook it in coconut milk. It said to make for a convincing meat substitute.
Read about Robert Barnum of Possum Trot Tropical Fruit Nursery growing jackfruit.