For the past few years, I've been the Regina George to the food industry's Gretchen Weiners, exasperatedly pleading for everyone to STOP TRYING TO MAKE JACKFRUIT HAPPEN, IT'S NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. It's not that I don't think that jackfruit has what it takes to be the next big breakout ingredient. It's just that I've seen so much hype and fanfare, which never actually comes to fruition in grocery stores, food blogs, and restaurants. At least I haven't noticed it happening.
Despite its virtually limitless potential as a vegan meat substitute, the fruit has been at a standstill.
But alas, it looks like the time has finally come, in 2019, for me to wave my white flag and surrender to the mystical properties of the versatile meat substitute. Especially now that my beloved TJ's is introducing it to me in the form of these crabless, vegan jackfruit cakes ($4 for a box of four). Behold!
This isn't the first TJ's jackfruit item (they also have what they call a "masterfully meatless" Yellow Jackfruit Curry with Jasmine Rice). But in this form, it is the most inviting for a jackfruit rookie such as myself. Each patty is a mixture of shredded jackfruit, tapioca starch, potato, chopped green onions, and celery salt-infused seasoning. They're fried, then frozen, and packaged as quadruplets, waiting to be placed in your toaster oven for 16 minutes before enjoying.
Let me tell you, shredded jackfruit looks nearly identical to lump crab meat, so the texture does not disappoint in the slightest. The only thing that I wanted more of was the "crab" flavor, since I'm not a vegan and most certainly a seafood-lover. I think to counteract this shortcoming, I'll add a hefty sprinkle of Old Bay Seasoning to my next batch. All in all, I'm pleased to now be acquainted with jackfruit. I'm sorry that it took so long.
What about you? Do you like jackfruit? Have you tried these Jackfruit Cakes at Trader Joe's yet?