This question interested me because with fruits there tend to be a lot of different varieties, sometimes thousands, and Jackfruit is no exception. Depending on what you want Jackfruit for, weather the sweetest for eating, the easiest to grow or the best meat substitute and texture we cover everything you will need to know in this article. So lets delve into which Jackfruit is the best.
The best Jackfruit is the Lemon Gold with its firm texture, sweet aromatic flavor and low latex. The NS1 variety also has a firm texture with a sweet rich flavor and the Black Gold is popular with its good sweet aromatic flavor. The best growing Jackfruit tree is the Dang Rasimi with its very high yield and vigorous growth.
Of course when it comes down to taste, everyone is different, but the few listed above will get you off to a very good start as it tends to be what I found to be the general consensus, especially of those growing their own Jackfruit trees.
Its interesting to note that the Kun Wi Chan variety is a very vigorous grower and bears a high yield of large fruits, but the flesh is moderately firm to soft with a mild pleasant flavor and is considered of mediocre quality, hence why we chose Dang Rasimi as best growing. Please read on as we delve further into what makes the best Jackfruit fruit and tree and which ones are best grown in the United States.
How Many Types of Jackfruit Are There?
There are two general types of Jackfruit, the soft type also known as Koozha chakka, Barka, Berka, Kha-nun lamoud and Vela, and the firm type also known as Koozha pazham, Kapa, Kapiya, Kha-nun nang and Varaka, or Waraka.
From the two basic types we get all of the different varieties, which is in excess of 54 at time of writing this article. Back in 1987 the ‘T Nagar Jack’ was considered to be the best in quality and yield, however today there are many more varieties that have higher quality and better yields. 
It also depends on where in the World you are growing your Jackfruit trees. For example in Florida, United States, the Lemon Gold and Red Morning are the best varieties for taste, however the Black Gold is the most cold hardiness, but its taste is not so good.
Many other varieties will grow in these colder climates but expect some die back with winter chills if they are left unprotected, but should rebound when the weather gets warmer again.
We recommend you also read our post: Best Jackfruit Varieties: Taste, Texture & Production which provides a lot of visual content and tables to help you see clearly which Jackfruits are the best to grow and how to identify what Jackfruit you might have. Very helpful additional reading.
In tropical countries, you can grow whatever varieties you prefer as they will all do well in the humid hot climates.
How Do You Pick a Good Jackfruit?
A good Jackfruit that is ripe and ready to eat will give off a sweet smell a few days before it is fully ripe. The outside spines should begin to spread apart and it should not be too hard but give with a little pressure. Depending on the variety the skin color should be yellowish green with some brown patches.
Be careful of choosing a Jackfruit that is too soft to the feel as it is probably over ripe and beginning to rot. Also if it is all brown, not just a few brown patches, then it is over ripe.
A Jackfruit that does not have a strong smell is probably also not ripe, although it again depends on the variety. If it is hard to the touch when you press it then again it also is not ripe.
If you pick a good ripe Jackfruit, you will need to eat it in 1 to 2 days or you can safely store it in the fridge for up to 7 days and in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Which Is The Sweetest Jackfruit?
The sweetest Jackfruit is the EVIARC Sweet which has a Brix value of 25.15 °Bx compared to 15 °Bx in general for most other varieties. However another variety claiming to be the sweetest by a group of students of Padannakkad Government Agricultural College in Neeleswaram is the Chirappuram Cluster Jack.
So how does this compare to other fruits? Well if you consider the mango, which most of us would agree is a sweet fruit such as the “Philippine Sweetest Mango” Guimaras Super (Galila) which has a Brix value of 22.3 Brix (°Bx), the EVIARC Sweet Jackfruit is sweeter.
Best Varieties of Jackfruit To Grow in US, Florida & California
The best varieties of Jackfruit to grow in the US are the Bangkok Lemon, Excalibur Red, and the J31, with the best yellow flesh variety being the Lemon Gold and the Bangkok Lemon. They have a high production with a sweet firm flesh and low latex.
After consulting with many successful hobby growers in Florida and California the consensus for the best orange fleshed and red fleshed varieties to grow are as follows.
For the best orange fleshed variety of Jackfruit you have the Mai 3, with its good production, low latex and sweet firm flesh. It also has a high percentage of edible fruit pulp.
For the best red fleshed varieties to grow you have the Excalibur Red and the Red Morning, which is also known as the Daeng Suria. The Excalibur Red has a high percentage of edible fruit with a very good production. It has a sweet firm flesh with a medium sized fruit and low latex. The Red Morning is a medium to larger fruit.
If you are wondering if you can grow Jackfruit in the United States California or Florida, with additional information on how to do it then please check out our further reading here: Can Jackfruit Grow in California
It has been suggested to stay clear of growing the Borneo Red due to its poor production and taste, although taste is highly subjective due to individual preferences.
If you are not such a big fan of Jackfruit then try to get a taste of Lemon Gold or Bangkok Lemon. This fruit will catch you completely off guard. It may well change your perception of Jackfruits as it has for so many others who were not such big fans. With its very pleasant and enjoyable sweet lemon flavor along with a crunchiness factor near to perfection. The texture and taste is not too soft or crunchy with a sweet aftertaste. It comes very highly recommended.
If you are wanting to locate ways to buy Jackfruit trees or fruits in the United States, Florida and California then please read our article: Best Jackfruit Varieties where we go into more depth about each variety and where you can locate them for growing and personal eating.
Best Jackfruit Variety To Grow in Tropical Countries
The best Jackfruit to grow in Tropical countries are the Bangkok Lemon, with the best Thai types being the J 33 and the J 31. These are good tasting, firm texture and high production types that would please most people.
Again the general consensus is that the varieties with a high rich sweet taste, crisper texture, higher flesh percentage with lower latex are the more popular.
Jackfruit Ripe vs Unripe: Which Is The Best and Why
Ripe Jackfruit has a texture that is chewy or crisp with a sweet taste and strong aroma. An unripe Jackfruit has a neutral flavor with a pale color and more latex.
Ripe Jackfruit is best because you can eat it raw and get most of the nutrient benefits along with the enzymes just as nature intended. However unripe can also be used by cooking the flesh. Cooking it will soften the Jackfruit flesh and then It is used like a vegetable but has a look and texture like pulled pork or shredded chicken.
Unripe Jackfruit can be used in soups and savory dishes and is a meat substitute due to its texture and neutral flavor. It will easily soak up spices and seasonings and is a healthy alternative to meat that is used by vegetarians and vegans. It contains many antioxidants and is low in carbohydrates and sugar.
One drawback if you are using unripe Jackfruit as a meat substitute is the low protein content. You might have to supplement with other vegetarian or vegan sources of protein to get your daily protein intake.
Is Canned Jackfruit Good?
Canned Jackfruit is not as good as fresh Jackfruit, due to it having less nutrients. However if you are using Jackfruit as a meat substitute and are buying canned Jackfruit then you will want to make sure that it is canned in brine or water. Jackfruit canned in syrup is used as a dessert.
I am always an advocate of fresh is better than canned as you generally know what you are getting. Not only is fresh more full of nutrients but it also doesn’t contain any hidden additives. Even if you are wanting to use unripe Jackfruit as a meat substitute then its always better to have the unripe fruit and boil the flesh yourself.
However, its not always possible due to location and availability of the Jackfruit so if you are using it as a meat substitute then canned Jackfruit in water or brine is good.
Best Canned Jackfruit
The best canned Jackfruit is Trader Joe’s Green Jackfruit in Brine for cooking as a meat substitute and the AROY-D Jackfruit In Syrup for the best canned dessert Jackfruit.
As mentioned above fresh is always better over canned but if you want to know where you can buy the two brands above then the Trader Joe’s Jackfruit in Brine can be bought here: Trader Joe’s Jackfruit in Brine (Affiliate Link to Amazon) and you can buy the Aroy-D Jackfruit in Syrup here: Aroy-D Jackfruit in Syrup (Affiliate Link to Amazon)
Jackfruit in Brine vs Water
Young or unripe Jackfruit in water or brine, which is salt water used to preserve it, is used as a meat substitute in many dishes. Both canned Jackfruit in brine and in water are good to use, but both should be washed with fresh water first.
If you don’t want a lot of added salt then go for the Jackfruit in water. However, there is no real difference between the two as usually they are cooked with seasonings so its the texture that matters the most. Both have a good texture that mimics pulled pork or shredded pork, making it ideal in dishes that would normally have meat.
The only other difference you may notice between the two is the color. Unripe Jackfruit should be white. If its canned in brine then it usually retains its white appearance. If it is canned in water it may have a pinkish color depending on weather citric acid has been used as a preservative.
If you are wanting Jackfruit in water we have found the Native Forest Organic Jackfruit in Water (Affiliate Link to Amazon) the best. It does contain a little lime juice.
What Is The Biggest Jackfruit In The World?
The biggest and heaviest Jackfruit in the World came from India and was found in Pune, Maharashtra. It has a verified weight of 42.72 kg (94 lb 2.9 oz) with a length of 57.15 cm (22.5 in) and a circumference of 132.08 cm (52 in).
It was listed in the Guiness Book of World Records on 23rd June 2016 and was discovered on a farm affiliated with the Jackfruit Company.
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