I have been told once or twice that it is impossible to be ambivalent about jackfruit. I’ve come across people who shudder and blanch at the smell, but I unequivocally love it. I have even tried on a couple of occasions to use the seed – peeled, boiled, peeled, chopped and put into sambhar. What an amazing fruit it is! Such perfect packaging, its smell the very embodiment of tropical lushness… I wonder at its audacity in growing so high up on a tree. Surely something this enormous should grow along the ground?
I’ve confessed here and there that I’m a city girl with deep country love. Then you will understand how much it galls me to eat halasina hannu out of a packet thus. Five measly pieces sold for Rs 10.
There are whole fruits available but it is impossible to convince my father to buy one. He baulks at carrying it home from the local market, for which he has my sympathies. Besides he jibs at the possible waste, which is nonsense. I would eat it, cook it, pickle it, worship it. Also he suspects (with good reason) that he’ll be lumped with the job of disembowelling it. Which, as anyone who has experience in these matters knows, is a very difficult business. The hands must be oiled; considerable muscle, skill and patience is needed.
What I need is a Man Friday. To cut up jackfruit, peel coconuts that have fallen in the garden and disappear conveniently the rest of the time.