Jackfruit Day Date in the current year: July 4, 2024

Jackfruit Day Jackfruit Day is celebrated annually on July 4. It was created to raise awareness of an amazing fruit native to South and Southeast Asia and promote it as a tasty and nutritious alternative to meat.

The jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) is a tree species in the Moraceae family, which includes many other well-known plants such as the banyan, breadfruit, fig, and mulberry. Native to South and Southeast Asia, the jackfruit is widely cultivated throughout the tropics for its fruits. The world’s largest producers of jackfruit are India, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Indonesia. It is also cultivated in Australia, Brazil, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and some other countries.

Jackfruit is famous for bearing the largest fruit of all trees, reaching up to 35 inches in length and 120 pounds in weight. A mature jackfruit tree produces around 200 fruits a year, and older trees can bear as many as 500 fruits per year! Raw jackfruit is a rich source of dietary fiber and vitamin B6 and a moderate source of vitamin C and potassium.

The flavor of ripe jackfruit is described as a combination of apple, banana, mango, and pineapple. Due to its sweet taste, ripe jackfruit is primarily used in desserts and other sweet dishes, such as cakes, custard, shaved ice desserts, fruit salad, etc. Unripe jackfruit has a milder flavor and meat-like texture. Young jackfruit is a staple food in many South and Southeastern cuisines, where it used as a vegetable or a meat substitute in various savory dishes, including salads, curries, stews, sandwiches (as a pulled pork substitute), etc.

It should be noted that while the texture of young jackfruit resembles meat, it doesn’t contain enough protein to count as “complete” meat alternative. However, you can use jackfruit to reduce the amount of meat in your diet if you’re not ready to go fully vegetarian yet. If you’re vegetarian or vegan and want to introduce jackfruit into your diet, go for it, just make sure that you consume enough protein from other sources.

Jackfruit Day was established by the folks at jackfruitday.com in 2016 to celebrate jackfruit as a delicious meat alternative. Its date was deliberately chosen to coincide with the U.S. Independence Day – the organizers encourage people to “declare their independence from meat” on July 4 and substitute jackfruit for meat.

There are many ways to celebrate Jackfruit Day. You can learn more about the health benefits of jackfruit and its culinary uses, enjoy the fruit raw or cook something with it, try jackfruit chips or canned jackfruit, and spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #JackfruitDay to encourage your friends to declare their independence from meat at least for a day and give jackfruit a try.

If you’re not sure what to cook with jackfruit, you can check out recipes at jackfruitday.com. They offer a bunch of delicious recipes to choose from, including BBQ sandwiches, pizza, chili, enchiladas, ice cream, breakfast smoothie bowl, sticky toffee upside down cake, jackfruit “tuna”, and jackfruit stir fried rice.

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