Say hello to jackfruit: the naturally sustainable and sometimes misunderstood superhero of our plant-based burgers and wingz. At Biff’s we use fresh AF jackfruit young green jackfruit to create our signature flavours, unique texture and wtf-this-isn’t-meat vibes.
What is jackfruit?
You’ve probably heard a lot about jackfruit (or artocarpus heterophyllus, if we’re feeling fancy). Jackfruit is a large, spiky, tree-growing fruit that is famously the biggest fruit in the world – it can grow up to 45kgs (or 120 lbs) in weight.
In recent years this tropical fruit has become famous in Europe as a meat substitute. However, jackfruit is an incredibly versatile and environmentally-positive ingredient that has been eaten in different forms across the world for millennia.
What does jackfruit taste like?
It depends! Jackfruit has two very different flavours depending on when it’s picked.
Ripe jackfruit is sweet – somewhere between a mango and banana. It’s got fleshy yellow bulbs that create a real flavour bomb when eaten fresh, added to desserts, or dried to make jackfruit chips.
However, the unripe young green jackfruit is used in savoury dishes. On its own, it has a much more neutral taste, but it’s scarily-good at absorbing other flavours when cooked, meaning you can make it taste like almost anything. We like it with curries, chillis, jerk-rubbed or, yknow, deep fried with our top secret blend of herbs and spices.
Where does jackfruit grow?
Jackfruit is thought to have originated in Southern India, but it can now be found growing across tropical regions, from South East Asia all the way to South America. An important part of many culture’s cuisines, jackfruit is the national fruit of both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. However, in other parts it’s still considered a nuisance and is left to go to waste, as its massive fruit can do some serious damage when they fall from the tree.
At Biff’s we source our jackfruit directly from farms in Vietnam, one of the biggest producers of jackfruit.
What are the environmental benefits of jackfruit?
Jackfruit has been described as a ‘miracle crop’ due it’s natural sustainability – it’s high-yield, drought-proof, incredibly nutritious and has so many uses – even its seeds can be cooked.
Making one of our Crispy Fried Jackfruit burgers, saves up to 335 litres of water compared to a meat burger, and our wingz produce up to 79% less Co2 than chicken. We’ve done some maths and we reckon we’ve saved over 164 tonnes of Co2 so far – and counting.
Why does Biff’s use jackfruit?
We believe in creating dirty food without all the junk, and jackfruit is not only a super hero ingredient for its sustainability, but it also makes a much more natural meat alternative.
This weird fruit’s uniquely fibrous texture gives it a mouthfeel that’s lighter, more organic and less dense than seitan. Jackfruit is naturally gluten- and soy-free, and avoids the hyper-processing and mysterious ingredients that you get in some meat-free products.
Our Crispy Fried Jackfruit not only makes a banging vegan wing, but it’s also the only chicken alternative that’s also one of your five-a-day.
How much protein is in jackfruit, bro?
As it’s a fruit, jackfruit doesn’t contain as much protein as, say, tofu. However, jackfruit is packed with lots of other good stuff. It’s rich in many vitamins including potassium and calcium. A single serving contains more fibre than a banana, and more iron than a cup of spinach (sorry Popeye).
I wanna cook it! What jackfruit should I use as a meat substitute?
If you want to cook jackfruit from scratch, young green jackfruit is the one – try to find jackfruit tinned in water, not brine, for the best taste. Alternatively, you can skip the hard bit and order our Crispy Fried Jackfruit Burgers and Wingz to cook at home.