At first glance, the thick, spiky exterior of a jackfruit may be intimidating, but cooking with jackfruit is actually a fairly simple task. The first step of preparing your produce may actually be the most difficult. You’ll have to contend with the fruit’s spiny shell, sticky sap, thick core, and large, plentiful seeds before separating each fruit pod from the exterior walls.
However, it must be noted that however difficult it is to deconstruct a jackfruit, it is not as arduous as breaking down an entire animal carcass. It likely isn’t even on the same level of culinary craftsmanship that is necessitated by prepping an individual cut of meat. Choosing to cook with jackfruit allows you to avoid things like skin and sinew, while still letting you experience the unique sensory experiences of chomping into a piece of meat-like texture.
Another factor that makes jackfruit difficult to work with may be a large factor in its popularity as a meat substitute — its spectacular size. It is the largest tree fruit in the world, and can weigh as much as 100 pounds. Furthermore, in its juvenile stages of development, before it has fully ripened, jackfruit has a solid consistency and hasn’t yet developed a full fruity sweetness, which makes it the perfect starting point when you’re making meatless barbecue. Last but not least, jackfruit has a lot more protein than the vast majority of fruits, carrying nearly three grams of protein per cup of fruit.