Mysore/Mysuru: The two-day ‘Jackfruit Festival,’ organised by Sahaja Samrudha Samsthe and Rotary Club of Mysore West at Nanjaraja Bahadur Choultry, concluded last evening. The response was overwhelming from the public and many of them crowded the stalls where peeled fruit pods and snacks made out of jackfruits were being sold at cheap prices.
The dishes included halasina happala, ice cream, chips, halwa, vada, payasam kebab, holige, burfi and pulav. Growers from Mysuru, Kundapura, Karkala Mangaluru, H.D. Kote, Periyapatna, Hubballi, Dharwad and even Tamil Nadu had brought their fruits — of many varieties, flavour, sweetness and taste — and the visitors were spoilt for choice. Many exclaimed at the sheer number of varieties of the yellow fruit.
Various varieties like Red Rudraksha, Tubugere, Yellow, Ekadashi, Kempu Rudrakshi, Chandra Halasu and Shivaratri were for display and sale. The other interesting products included biscuits prepared out of jackfruit seed.
The organisers said that the Jackfruit Festival will be of great benefit to jackfruit growers. They can directly sell their products to consumers. Earlier, farmers used to sell the jackfruit they had grown to wholesalers for a paltry sum of money, causing huge losses. To benefit the growers, such Festivals are held to help the cultivators of jackfruit, mango and other such crops.
“The rate varied from Rs. 50 to Rs. 500 depending on the size. There is a good response from the people here,” said Ravi, a grower from Tubugere.
“The rate for our jackfruit ranges from Rs. 30 to Rs. 300 depending on size. I give my customers a small pod of jackfruit to taste and they simply cannot resist buying the entire jackfruit later,” he said.
Speaking after distributing prizes, food specialist Ratna Rajaiah said that the humble fruit has many medicinal qualities. The objective of the Festival was to bring together growers and speciality food-makers to showcase their value-added products on a single platform and create awareness about the utilities of jackfruit.
Mysuru and Mangaluru regions are blessed with an abundance of jackfruit trees. However, most people do not like to eat it. They feel that the fruit is meant only for elephants, pigs and the poor. Compare this with places like Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Thailand which are making millions of dollars exporting value-added products made out of fruits and seeds. We want to popularise these items and create awareness as many people do not value jackfruit, she added.
In the jackfruit dishes cooking competition, Mangala Prakash came first, K. Jayashree second and Sridevi P. Hegde won the third prize. Many exciting dishes like pathrode, jackfruit cake, halwa, fruit salad, dosa and malt out of seeds were prepared. In the jackfruit pod eating competition, Manikantan of Tiruchi came first, V. Girish stood second and Mohan Kumar stood third.