The jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus), also known as jack tree, is a species of tree in the fig, mulberry, and breadfruit family (Moraceae). Its origin is in the region between the Western Ghats of southern India and the rainforests of Malaysia.
The jack tree is well-suited to tropical lowlands, and is widely cultivated throughout tropical regions of the world. It bears the largest fruit of all trees, reaching as much as 55 kg (120 lb) in weight, 90 cm (35 in) in length, and 50 cm (20 in) in diameter. A mature jack tree produces some 200 fruits per year, with older trees bearing up to 500 fruits in a year. The jackfruit is a multiple fruit composed of hundreds to thousands of individual flowers, and the fleshy petals of the unripe fruit are eaten. The immature fruit (unripe, commercially labeled as young jackfruit) has a mild taste and meat-like texture that lends itself to being a meat substitute for vegetarians and vegans. The ripe fruit can be much sweeter (depending on variety) and is more often used for desserts.
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