Before using any fruits to make a salad or any other recipe, you have to ensure beyond a reasonable doubt that they’re all sufficiently ripe. Otherwise, preparing a salad or meal with the desired flavor becomes practically impossible. This applies to jackfruits as well.
Over the last several months, many of my readers have been asking me for advice on how to tell if jackfruit is ripe. After answering most of them separately, I’ve decided to create a detailed guide for anyone in the future who finds themselves wondering the same thing.
How To Tell if Jackfruit is Ripe
If I had a dollar for every time one of my readers asked me whether jackfruits were fruits or vegetables, I’d have enough to be typing this article from my own private island.
After inquiring a little bit, I learned that this confusion is rooted in the reality that jackfruits are used in many dishes in Asia, leading many people to assume that they’re vegetables. However, to clarify this, the jackfruit is a fruit, just like its name details.
Jackfruits are compound fruits that start out like flowers and become fully mature fruits with seeds on the inside. Surprisingly, a jackfruit’s large seeds are edible as well.
With that in mind, if you’re wondering about how to tell if jackfruit is ripe, use any of the four tips below to ascertain.
1. The Jackfruit Will Have A Strong Bubblegum Smell
Before getting to more sophisticated methods that include touching and investigating the fruit’s color, note that you can even use your sense of smell to tell if a jackfruit is ripe.
In fact, while researching for this guide on multiple forums filled with jackfruit lovers, I learned that a significant portion of them rely on this smell trick to ascertain beyond a reasonable doubt that their jackfruit is ripe.
With that in mind, jackfruits have a distinctive and strong musky smell, which also qualifies as a milky yet gummy scent. I also learned on the forums that people have varying opinions about this smell.
Whatever your opinion, note that if you put your nose close to your jackfruit and feel the described smell, there are high chances that the fruit is ripe.
If you’ve ever come across the smell and didn’t love it, or you’d rather use other means to tell if jackfruit is ripe, the next three tips and tricks are for you.
2. Is the Jackfruit Soft to Touch?
The next sense you can use to tell if jackfruit is ripe is your sense of touch. How?
Well, if you touch or try to press unripe jackfruits, you’ll notice right away that they’re a little bit hard to touch. Once your jackfruit’s smell starts changing to the one described above, and you also notice that it’s becoming slightly soft to touch, then chances that it’s already ripe increase even more.
The reason jackfruits turn soft as soon as they ripen is quite apparent. Given that the fruits are super gummy on the inside, it only makes sense they’ll get soft as well.
3. Can You Hear A Hollow Sound?
This is the first sign I use myself to tell if jackfruit is ripe. His tactic involves knocking or tapping the jackfruit and listening to the sound it makes. Just like watermelons, ripe jackfruits will let out a hollow sound.
Note, though, that the first time you hear the hollow sound doesn’t necessarily mean that the jackfruit is sufficiently ripe. It could simply mean that the ripening process has started.
4. Has The Jackfruit Changed Its Color?
Like all other fruits you’ll usually find in the marketplace, jackfruits undergo specific changes after they ripen, one of which is their color.
When a jackfruit starts forming on the plant, it usually boasts a light green shade. As time goes by and the fruit approaches maturity, the green shade starts to darken. That’s why mature but unripe jackfruits usually have a strong green shade.
After that, the jackfruit then begins to ripe, at which point it slowly starts transforming into its final color, a golden brown shade. As your jackfruit ripens, you might also see dark spots begin to appear on the ripe fruits. If they do on your jackfruits, do not panic! They do not affect the jackfruit’s taste in any sense of the world.
That’s, of course, unless a severe infection has caused the dark spots.
Will Jackfruits Ripen After Picking?
If you can, experts recommend that you should always leave your jackfruits on their trees until they sufficiently ripen. Why? Well, because this natural ripening procedure will usually ensure maximum nutrition as well as optimal flavor, sweetness, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.
That said, there, of course, are cases when letting your jackfruits ripen while on the tree won’t be an option. Such cases include when the fruits themselves are too heavy or naturally fall from the tree, as well as situations when you may feel the need to protect the fruits from animals that may devour them before you’ve had the chance to pick them.
In these cases, you’ll be pleased to know that, yes, a jackfruit will keep ripening after you’ve picked it off its tree. As a general rule of thumb, the jackfruit will take approx. seven days (from the day you plucked it and placed it on the counter) to ripen, but this will also depend on how mature the fruit was when you picked it.
Also, once your jackfruit is ripe, feel free to store it in a refrigerator for further ripening. The reason experts recommend that you should only put it in a refrigerator after its ripe is that doing so before the fruit ripens will exponentially prolong the period it will take to ripen.
Once ripe, you can store your jackfruits in the freezer for up to 2 months and up to 7 days in a regular refrigerator.
With this guide and its details on your corner, you never have to worry about wondering whether your jackfruit is ripe or not. The points to remember include hearing a hollow sound, the jackfruit should be slightly soft to touch, and the color should be telling.