Discover The Unique Taste of Dried Jackfruit & Pineapple
Dried tropical fruits like jackfruit and pineapple have become increasingly popular in recent years. Their naturally sweet flavor and chewy texture make them addictive and healthy snacks. But what really gives these fruits their unique taste? And how does cooking change their flavor profile? In this blog, we’ll explore the tastes of two popular dried fruits - jackfruit and pineapple.
Jackfruit is a large, oblong fruit with a thick, bumpy rind. Inside are dozens of bulbous yellow pods, each containing a seed and sweet, stringy flesh. When ripe, jackfruit emits a strong fruity aroma reminiscent of banana, mango and pineapple. The flavor of fresh jackfruit is subtle and difficult to describe; not quite banana-like but with hints of other fruits. When dried, jackfruit pods transform into something entirely different. The dried flesh becomes concentrated in natural sugars, intensifying its sweetness. Dried jackfruit has a sticky, gummy texture similar to dried mango or apricots. The predominant flavor is subtly tropical. Imagine pineapple sweetness with mango’s perfumed aroma. There is even savory, garlic-like undertones from the seeds interspersed throughout the pods. It satisfies a sweet tooth while offering complex flavors to savor.
Pineapple is another tropical fruit that undergoes a dramatic change when dried. Fresh pineapple is juicy and tart with vibrant citrusy flavors. When dried, the juice is removed, concentrating the natural sugars and acids. Dried pineapple has a much more pronounced sweetness while still retaining some tanginess. The flesh turns from golden yellow to a deep amber and develops a pleasantly chewy, leathery texture. The flavor is deep and caramelized, with notes of vanilla and toasted nuts joining the usual tropical fruitiness. Dried pineapple has a more developed, dessert-like flavor than the fresh fruit.
While dried jackfruit and pineapple are delicious on their own, cooking brings out additional layers of flavor. When reconstituted in water or other liquids, dried fruits plump up and absorb the surrounding flavors. In savory dishes, dried jackfruit takes on the aromas of garlic, onions, curry and other spices. The fruits lose their gummy, candied quality and become softer and more amenable to absorption. When cooked into sweet dishes, the dried fruits contribute even more pronounced caramel, vanilla and toasted flavors. Compotes, chutneys and baked goods all benefit from the concentrated sweetness and complexity of dried fruits.
If you’re looking to add intrigue to your recipes, reach for dried jackfruit or pineapple. Their versatility and richness of flavor can enhance both sweet and savory dishes. The unique taste and texture of these dried fruits lends interest to everything from stir fries to muffins. Keep some dried tropical fruits on hand to add a punch of flavor and nourishment to snacks, salads, curries, desserts and more. Whether enjoyed plain or incorporated into your cooking, these fruits offer a world of sweet, savory and downright addictive flavors.