Last year, when Saveur editor James Oseland was in town, I took him to Hong Kong City Mall. Oseland lived in Indonesia for a long time, and he was thrilled to see ripe jackfruit on sale. Jackfruit have been cultivated in Asia for more than 6,000 years and are highly prized in Indonesia. Late spring and early summer is the usual season for jackfruit.
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A whole jackfruit looks like a watermelon with goosebumps and costs around $50 ($3.50 a pound; they average around 15 pounds). Inside, there's a woody flesh that looks like honeycomb, with a series of chambers containing chunks of fruit. Each piece of fruit looks like a giant corn kernel and has a smooth, white seed inside. The fruit kernels tastes like a cross between mango and overripe pineapple, with a dense chewy texture.
Oseland bought a small package of jackfruit sections at the Asian fruit store in the food court for $3, which seemed like a bargain considering the price of the whole fruit. We ate it while we walked around, and I was surprised by how much I liked it. Now I always buy a package of jackfruit at the Hong Kong City Mall when it's in season.