First, a confession. (For those of you who enjoy jackfruit, I apologize if my comments offend you.)
I’m not the biggest fan of jackfruit……..something about the heavy scent, stinging sweet taste and slimy mouth feel. Occasionally, I have enjoyed a piece or two of the fleshy sweetness that seems to cross a banana, mango and a taste totally its own. Despite my ambivalent enjoyment, the jackfruit is a marvel. One fruit can feed many, the skin and husk is used as feed for livestock, the trees are beautiful and majestic, the seeds can be roasted and eaten like nuts or cooked like potatoes, and the wood of the tree is highly prized. No wonder its the national fruit of Bangladesh. Here is a demonstration of how its opened by Tofajjal Hossain in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
These giant fruits hang from the trunk of big trees. The thump when tapped and change in color to light green and speckled yellow show when its ready to eat.
The skin is prickly. Almost jurassic looking. The outside hints at the many pods hiding within.
Visually, the fruit is fascinating in its pattern, color and texture. The contrast between interior and exterior is dramatic, as is the cushioned natural packaging of each pod. In the context of poverty, it has the look of plenty, of generous sharing and of multiple uses. Despite its special taste, I am visually drawn. Perhaps, there’s a design lesson here………. in its ability to combine functionalism, surprise, sharing and transformation.