Yummy bits and bobs from my kitchen!
(Recipe comming soon!)Since I was a kid, I’ve always liked the idea of being a vegetarian, but growing up in a meat eating family, my weak will prevailed and my love affair with sausage rolls has continued. Now I live away from home however, I don’t really have an excuse. I’ve been searching for foods which can take the place of some of my favorite meat centric dishes.
Something I didn’t think would be on the veggie menu is pulled pork. I love BBQ food and pulled pork is very much a crowd pleasing comfort food which I could eat till I pop. After reading up online about vegetarian BBQ food, I saw a few posts about something called jackfruit. According to what I was reading it is a fruit with numerous health benefits over meat, which mimics the texture of slow cooked meat, is easily obtainable and is taking the vegetarian world by storm. It sounds like a dream, and by this point, I can’t imagine why I haven’t heard of it. Well, on my quest (yes, quest) to find out more, I took a look at these claims and found that while some are true, it isn’t quite the accessible wonder-food that certain websites and forums have made out.
Taking the world by storm you say?
It turns out I wasnt on my own in being a jack fruit dummy: After trawling the health food shops and asian supermarkets of both Bath and Lincoln (my two home towns) I started to think that maybe it wasnt so easily obtainable after all. I asked friends who have grown up with asian cooking, vegetarian and vegan friends and my fellow chefs if they’d ever heard of it. No, they had not. It’s perhaps different in larger towns with a less ‘traditional british’ food scene, but for people who don’t ive in quite metropolitan places, I don’t think jackfruit is something your going to find down your local supermarket or in your friends store cupboards.
So back to the internet I went. Canned jackfruit is available from quite a few different online vendors, so just as long as you don’t mind bulk buying, or paying out a wee bit for shipping, you can just pick some up online. Simple as that. In the end, it is not too much fuss to get hold of when you’re aware that buying online may be a better option than shops in your local area.
It’s good for you!
Check out this nutrition comparison:
It is lower in fat and calories and sodium by a looooong shot, so if you’re looking to lose some wight jackfruit could be pretty appealing. It is also higher in fiber and vitamin c. It does however lack in protein so might not be so filling, and not so good for people looking to bulk up.
And it’s just like eating meat?
Well, as meat-eater, I’ve got to say that it’s not fooling me. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t think it was good, though. It sure did LOOK like BBQ pork and Its texture is meaty… for a fruit: It would probably be more accurate to call it substantial than meaty though. It’s got a bit of bite to it that a cooked fruit or vegetable doesn’t usually have, yet was soft enough to have that unctuous, rich kind of texture that didn’t make me feel like I just had a mouth full of vegetables. the flavour of the cooked jackfruit wasnt particularly porky, but then again, once pulled pork is covered in BBQ sauce nor does that particularly. For me, I think the sautéed and baked jackfruit carried the flavour of the BBQ sauce, just as well as pulled pork or chicken.
So the final verdict:
I actually really liked it, its pretty simple to make, and (especially in a sandwich)is a satisfying, healthy and inexpensive meal. So although I really doubt any meat-eater will be tricked by this substitute, I do think I’d make it again.
(Recipe comming soon!)