Our journey began when Annie visited India in June 2011 after completing her sophomore year at Harvard. She and her brother had pioneered an SMS-based maternal and child healthcare program designed to help mothers and pregnant women remember their antenatal care check-ups and infant vaccinations.
On Annie’s first day in Bangalore, India’s 3rd largest city, she saw enormous, spiky jackfruits sitting on the pavement — and wondered if they were an Indian variety of porcupine.
Fortunately, despite the fruit’s intimidating physique, Annie bought a bag of jackfruit bulbs from a street vendor — and discovered the most delicious food in the world. To date, jackfruit is Annie’s favorite food. We can’t wait to share it with you.
Jackfruit is the world’s largest tree-borne fruit! It belongs to the mulberry family and is a close relative of the breadfruit, but not the durian, despite a similar outward appearance.
An Awesome “Natural Resource”: The jackfruit is an unparalleled resource for food security. In Kerala, India, is has been documented that a standard jackfruit tree bears 250 to 300 10-kilogram fruits per year. That’s 2.5 to 3 tons of food annually.
Beyond that, jackfruit is a boon for the environment. It grows organically, requiring no fertilizers or pesticides. It grows quickly, tolerates three to four months of drought, and has no major pests. It requires so little labor (in proper climates) that it is intercropped with various crops simply to provide them with shade.