The jackfruit tree found in most parts of India is one among the staple foods eaten both as a dish and a fruit. This largest tree-borne fruit suited for the low tropical lowlands with its spikes can sometimes be mistaken as the world’s smelliest fruit, durian. A recent article published by the Guardian ‘Jackfruit is a vegan sensation – could I make it taste delicious at home?’ described the jackfruit as ‘’just a spectacularly ugly, smelly, unfarmed, unharvested pest-plant native to India’’ and this description has not gone down well for the people of Kerala.
While it is unclear if the daily mistook jackfruit for a durian, the description of the jackfruit has ignited a hot, Twitter debate lashing out on the daily not just from Keralites themselves but from other jackfruit-eating neighbour states.
Lashing out on the daily for its so-called ‘ignorance’, one user wrote, it has been relished as fruit, jam, chips, as part of curries/thorans, for generations in Kerala. There are entire food festivals held just around this fruit, for God's sake! Ignorance should be no excuse for casual racism, it reeks more than jackfruit. or durian (heard of that?)’’. While people from other parts of the country who relish jackfruit also jumped in for support of the fruit. One user wrote, i'm from the north of india and jackfruit is quite popular there: as a fruit (yummyyy), as a vegetable, even as street food. clearly these people @guardian need to hire people who have at least heard of researching’’.
Check out some the tweets here:
If you liked the Guardian jackfruit piece we cannot be friends. Ever.— Ranjani M (@poyetries) March 29, 2019
@jackfruit the ubiquitous 'chakka'. I remember in Kerala , starting summer this vegetable /fruit found its way into every dish that you had to run mile to avoid getting it in your plate .Every part was food, unripe ripe, pericarp, seed ,pulp, chammini...— sarath chandran (@pockyarsarat) March 28, 2019
I mean, I just tried some delicious jackfruit biryani in Kolkata but is it really food until White vegans have eaten it?— Srilata Sircar (@SircarSrilata) March 28, 2019
I'm also particularly annoyed coz I had to return from Chennai just as the jackfruit season was starting and got to eat very little of the delicious aromatic fruit that was selling everywhere 😪— Niranjana Ramesh (@niranjwrite) March 28, 2019
So maybe don’t be that cynical about a vegetable/fruit/main meal that has existed years in other cultures @zoesqwilliams and @guardian. Maybe update the article? It helps to represent food valued in other cultures better. Also, ‘durian’ is smelly not jackfruit.— Shashika Bandara (@shashikaLB) March 28, 2019