The jackfruit (Artocarpus heteropyllus) is a very large fruit that originated from India and is grown and used widely in Asia and Brazil. Each fruit averages in size about 1 to 2 feet long and 9 to 12 inches wide. Green (unripe) fruits are used as a starch and the ripe, sweet fruit is eaten fresh or used in a variety of sweet dishes.
Uptons Naturals produces a line of vegetarian meat alternatives made with jackfruit. Read our product review here.
If you don't have jackfruit you can substitute:
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Outside of Hawaii Jackfruit is not all that common in the continental U.S. If you live in an area with a large Asian population you can probably find it in an Asian grocery store.
Almost every part of the entire jackfruit plant can be used. According to Cropsview.com "The latex of the tree is used as bird lime. If heated, it makes an excellent cement for broken China. The bark has been made into rope and cloth." The tree wood is a medium-hardwood so it can be used for making furniture, bowls and even for construction.