Jackfruit – National Fruit of Bangladesh
The jackfruit has been named as the national fruit of Bangladesh and is a fruit that has been in existence for thousands of years. It is believed that jackfruit trees were planted in Hawaii even before 1888 and archaeologists have estimated that it has been growing in India for between 3000 to 6000 years. It is one of the largest fruits to grow on trees in the world, and a Jackfruit Tree can live and bear fruit for approximately a hundred years if taken care of correctly.
The climate in Bangladesh is perfect for the cultivation of jackfruit trees and in addition to its nutritional value, the Jackfruit is an inexpensive fruit and can be bought or grown in the poorest communities. The size of the fruit also adds to its value, but is unfortunately known to be somewhat of an acquired taste to some people. Jackfruit in Bangladesh is viewed as delicious, sweet, tasty and juicy, and many Bangladeshis use Jackfruit in their curries and other cuisine. It is made into a variety of different products, such as canned fruit, dried fruit and pulp.
A typical Jackfruit Tree can bear an average of 150 pieces of fruit each year, although some of the more exotic jackfruit tree species are known to produce as many as 250 to 500 pieces. For many consumers, the Tree’s nutritional value rests in its seeds as Jackfruit seeds are extremely high in Vitamin B1 and Vitamin B2. The seeds also have very high starch content, but are quite low in the presence of iron and calcium. Each fruit can contain between 100 to 500 seeds, which are oily to the touch. The seeds are often preserved for later use and are often prepared in a mixture of brine, oil and syrup.
A close relative of the Jackfruit Tree that is also grown in Bangladesh is the Monkey Jack. Other countries, such as Pakistan and India use the Jackfruit in many aspects of their cuisine as it is often used in fruit salads, curries and soups. In Malaysia. Jackfruit it is eaten raw to curb hunger.
With so many uses, low cost and high nutritional value, it is no surprise that the jackfruit is the national fruit of Bangladesh.