An introduction to jackfruit
In Malayalam language, jackfruit is popularly known as chakka. It is interesting to note that all malayalees are familiar with this term. Remember that this is an important fruit which is present in the world. One should always remember the fact that jackfruit belongs to Kingdom: Plantae & Family: Moraceae. Also note that the binomial name for jackfruit is Artocarpus heterophyllus. The tree which produces jackfruit is seen in places like Asia & Brazil. It is important to note that most of the countries present in the world have their own national fruits. So remember the fact that jackfruit is considered as the national fruit of Bangladesh. But the important point regarding jackfruit is that it is a tree borne fruit. The jackfruit tree is more commonly seen in houses of Kerala. In Hindi language, jackfruit is popularly known as kathal. This is mainly grown for its wood, seeds & fruits. Usually jackfruits are green in color with a particular smell.
Most people are familiar with the fact that white colored latex is produced from all most all parts of the tree including the fruits when it is injured. The edible bulbs of these jackfruits are yellow colored ones but the seeds present in these bulbs are oval shaped ones with a brown covering. Thorns like projections are seen on the outer covering of jackfruits. Remember that these projections become very soft at the time of ripening. Care must be taken while cutting jackfruits. In order to protect your hands from getting into contact with the latex, it is good to apply some coconut oil on both your palms before cutting these jackfruits. I have seen these methods in most of the houses of Kerala. Deep soils of medium textures are suitable for the growth of jackfruit trees. It is interesting to note that the Malayalam term for jackfruit tree is plavu. Actually March- April is the best season for jackfruits.
Varieties of jackfruit
It is important to note that there are different varieties of jackfruits in the world. In Kerala state situated in India, there are two varieties of jackfruit. Do you know which are they? Remember that the jackfruit varieties are
In Kerala the terms like varikka chakka & kuzha chakka are more commonly used. It should be noted that there are differences between varikka chakka & kuzha chakka. Remember that on ripening kuzha chakka has a soft flesh & varikka chakka has a hard flesh. Another fact is that kuzha chakka is only used for making chakka varattiyathu & not chakka varuthathu because of its soft flesh. But varikka chakka is good for making chakka varuthathu.
Nutritional values & uses of jackfruit
It is important to note that jackfruit is rich in many nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, zinc, dietary fiber, protein, carbohydrates etc. Remember that vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates are essential for the health of human body. Also every person should remember that vitamin A is also known as retinol, vitamin C as ascorbic acid, thiamine as vitamin B1, riboflavin as vitamin B2 & vitamin B6 as pyridoxine respectively. Another fact to remember is about the jackfruit seed. This jackfruit seed (popularly known as chakka kuru in Malayalam language) is having high nutritional values. So you must try to include the jackfruit seed in your diet. The vitamin A present in this jackfruits are good for vision. That means its deficiency leads to a disease known as night blindness. Also note that jackfruit is an important source of phytonutrients which are good for our health. Jackfruits can be eaten as fresh itself due to its sweetness. But the unripe varieties are used for making thorans which can be used along with rice.
Importance of jackfruit seeds
I have already mentioned the brown covering of jackfruit seeds. Some people remove it while making dishes. But remember that it is having some important nutritional values & so there is no need of removing it. Since jackfruit is a summer season fruit, the seeds are gathered, dried & stored for future purposes. In Kerala, this is mainly used for making chakka kuru-mango curry, chakka kuru-drumstick curry etc. Also note that proteins & carbohydrates are present in this jackfruit seeds.
Demerits of jackfruits
It should be noted that over eating of jackfruits may cause problems related to stomach which includes diarrhea. Another point to note is that never drink water along with jackfruits because this is not good for your health. Also note that people who are having allergic reactions must avoid eating this fruit. People who are suffering from diabetes must also avoid jackfruits because of their sweetness. In general we can say that if you feel unhealthy after eating jackfruits, you must consult a doctor immediately & take the medicines according to his/her prescription only. Always avoid self-medications.