By V. Shourabh
Jackfruit is one of the most preferred fruits consumed by Mysureans during the summer season. Several carts line up on various streets of the city, where jackfruits are sold like hot cakes. This fruit is generally eaten as a snack, or sometimes forms an integral part of desserts.
Jackfruits can be found in several different shapes and sizes. The fruit boasts of its natural sweetening taste and nectary syrup, which is an all-time favourite for the people. The fruit which grows profusely in Karnataka is popularly known as ‘Halasinahannu’ in Kannada.
A walk down the street on M.G. Road will surprise you as a pile of jackfruits are stacked on the edge of the road giving customers a sweet tooth and a craving to relish the fruit.
On M.G. Road (behind Dasara Exhibition Grounds), a group of jackfruit sellers have a stack of jackfruits ranging from the size of a fist to that of a car tyre, all piled up to attract the customers. People throng their stalls to grab an entire jackfruit as they ferry it along with them to their homes or stop by to have a quick energising bite.
Speaking to Star of Mysore, one of the sellers, Prasad, said, “People of Mysuru love jackfruits. They start coming to our stalls right from 5 am in the morning. So, we have to get up early and set up the store. We are about ten people and we handle this business here. The season of jackfruit begins in February and goes on till mid-August. It is available during off season also, but the sweetness of the fruit drops in that period. I’m from Rammanahalli and a few of them are from K.R. Pet and Srirangapatna. The fruits are grown in those villages and nearby field. We get the fruits from there and sell it over here. We have two kinds of customers — one who likes to buy the entire fruit back home and the other who prefers that the fruit be cut and given. So, we have options to satisfy both the type of customers. We wind up the day at about 8 pm. This fruit also has numerous health benefits and is a key part of an individual’s diet.”
Jackfruit is soft and is a digestible bulb with fructose and sucrose that energises and replenishes the body. Being rich in iron, potassium and magnesium, they aid in lowering blood pressure and control the heart rate. They prevent anaemia, ulcers and asthma and is an antioxidant.
“People who pass by are tempted to have a bite and stop by and taste the jackfruits. Some customers come and buy the fruit in bulk from us. We make a decent business by selling jackfruit. The young and the old both love this fruit. In about 20 days from now, the ‘Chandra Halasinahannu’ (orange coloured jackfruit) will be available. That is the sweetest jackfruit, which brings in reminiscences of nectar in the mouth. The orangish colour also attracts the eyes of the customers. But this variety is available only for a short duration compared to the yellow variety,” said Prasad.
One of the customers Abhimanyu, who bought a huge fruit said, “This fruit stands on top along with mango. If Mango is the King of Fruits, Jackfruit is the Queen of Fruits. I still remember my childhood, when my dad used to get a huge jackfruit and we used to finish the entire fruit for lunch or dinner. The peeling of the fruits was the most difficult part with our hands and the floor getting sticky. But it was still worth the pain to earn those sweet fruits. I make sure that I come here every year to buy the jackfruit and take it home. As the cutting of the fruit has a procedure that needs to be followed, I have to take the responsibility to peel off the tiny fruit bulbs from the huge sticky fruit and then my family jumps in to taste those delicious fruit bulbs.”
The fragrance of this delicious tropical fruit draws the attention of people passing by and this fruit is an attention magnet that forces them to succumb to its divine taste. Jackfruits are on sale at the Mela being held at Curzon Park in city.
Benefits of jackfruit seeds
While most people discard the jackfruit seeds after munching on to the fleshy part, they are unaware of the remarkable health benefits of the seeds. Those seeds are tasty, rich in vitamin and act as antimicrobial. They prevent indigestion and also aid in the development of bone strength and muscles.
On being asked about the use of jackfruit seeds, another seller Prashanth said, “These seeds are edible too. The seeds can be used to make curry and can be also consumed as a snack if you roast it. Generally, people use the seeds along with aloo (potato) and fry it. Many people are not aware about it. But one who has consumed it, will know its taste. Some people boil and eat it while some make curry or chutney from it.”