PERSONAL NOTE: I grew up in a farm in Malaysia and we had out own jackfruit trees in our farm. I grew up enjoying eating the fruit, and we learned to boil the seeds of the fruit…they tasted wonderful. I could buy this fruit in an Asian market here in my hometown in USA…and I still love to boil the seeds to eat! steve, usa, april 9, 2019 firstname.lastname@example.org blog – https://getting2knowyou-china.com
‘Asia loves jackfruit’: Britain’s Guardian newspaper told to stop maligning ‘silky-sweet’ delicacy
• Social media users have been up in arms over a British columnist’s hot take on the popular tropical fruit
• She called it a ‘pest-plant’ that is ‘spectacularly ugly’ and tastes of ‘squashy, mealy nothing’
5 Apr, 2019 Meaghan Tobin SCMP
. A near-miraculous, versatile source of nourishment, or a “gross-looking lump of fibre – fat, spiky and green”?
Well, that depends on whether you are reacting to its increasing use as a meat substitute by
, or defending it as an integral part of your country’s culture, it would seem.
Last week, British newspaper
published a piece by columnist Zoe Williams who eviscerated the national fruit of
as a “spectacularly ugly, smelly … pest-plant” which people consumed “only if they had nothing better to eat”.
Her comments soon caused an uproar online, with keyboard warriors from across Asia rallying to
Why does this colonial bs persist in food writing? That some tropical people ‘let a food rot’ or ‘use it as birdfeed’ until the white saviour discovers value in it as vegan miracle, superfood etc.
“This is one of the most offensive bits of food writing I have read in a while, and trust, there is a lot of competition on this front,” Vindhya Buthpitiya, a researcher at University College London, wrote on
The Guardian article came just weeks after London-based chocolatier Paul Young caused outrage online for comparing the lingering taste of another Asian favourite –
– to the enduring damage done by domestic abuse.
He described it as “the world’s worst-tasting fruit”, apparently overlooking the fact that it is highly prized across the region for its complex flavour, and classed like fine wine according to its characteristics, quality and origin.
Honestly, these tone-deaf headlines. A good portion of the world believes that jackfruit is *already* delicious.
Jackfruit stewed in coconut milk, or gudeg, is a popular traditional Javanese dish, and the fruit figures prominently in many South and Southeast Asian cuisines. Writers and eaters across the globe have fought back in its defence.
“This is what food writers of colour are up against. If I wanted to write about Keralan jackfruit dumplings steamed in fresh bay leaves, most editors would reject it – ‘too niche’. Yet this breathtakingly lazy, ignorant, and embarrassing nonsense gets published,” said London-based food writer Sejal Sukhadwala on Twitter.
Commenters responded with offers to pay her to publish the recipe.
“Food should be the easiest thing to write about with respect, especially now that journalists have the bounty of the internet literally at their fingertips,” said writer Pooja Pillai, also on Twitter. “The Guardian writer encountered jackfruit as a vegan trend taking over the Western world and I can only pity her, I guess, because she remains unaware of the silky sweetness of ripe jackfruit.”
Jackfruit is a delicacy in India and prepared for festive occasions.
This is an important produce that was bartered by the forest-dwelling Vanavāsi tribes to the tribes practicing agriculture, along with honey and spices. The world has a history before the west “discovered” it.
, chef of
-starred Bangkok restaurant Gaa – recently named one of the best in Asia – uses jackfruit in her dishes to play on diners’ nostalgia as a reference point in the meal.
“The jackfruit in
is always eaten ripe, and in
it’s always eaten unripe,” she said. “My mum actually always used to describe it as chicken, and the fruit is so high in umami, you don’t miss the meat. Within the same course, you have two separate ideas of what the same food should be, and it surprises you.”
Unripe Jackfruit, Roti Pickles – Gaa, Nov 2018 – Jackfruit roasted in different herbs, served with picked mango, shallots, carrot and cilantro. – – – rantgaa
Meanwhile, in a post titled “With Jackfruit We Stand” on media platform The Better India, Lekshmi Priya S wrote, “Hating a fruit without really knowing its virtues or versatility, or the culture it has intrinsically woven itself into only seems to indicate one has yet a lot to learn.”