Jackfruit: the ‘vegan pulled pork’, and where you can try it in London.

Recently, more and more meat alternatives are cropping up in restaurants and street food markets throughout London – and newest on the scene is the Jackfruit.

Haled the “ultra-adaptable wünder ingredient” by The Evening Standard, Jackfruit is fast becoming the trendiest new staple in all the edgy London eateries, but what exactly is it, and why all the hype?

Well, don’t let its name deceive you. Much like plantain, which has taken the world by storm over the past few years, Jackfruit tastes tropical and fruity, but also strangely savoury. Often found in dishes such as burgers, tacos and curries, it has a chewy, fleshy texture, which makes it the ideal meat substitute. In fact, its such a convincing alternative that some people even mistake it for pulled pork when they eat it.

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But it would be doing this super-fruit an injustice to say that its purely a veggie alternative. In fact, it’s one of the most versatile ingredients on the market, changing with whatever spices you cook it with. This means that you can find it in just about any cuisine nowadays, from Mexican (covered in chilli), to American (slathered in BBQ sauce).

In London, you can barely go a week without seeing this pop up on a menu, and it’s often not the veggies that pick it out, but the adventurous foodies who fancy trying something new and different.

Originating in the Indian rainforest, it is now found in South-America and Asia too, and can grow up to a whopping 35 pounds (aka the weight of a small child!) Plus, it has even been dubbed a possible cure for world hunger by many – seeing as it’s often able to survive droughts, and climates with very little water.

Far more than just a new food fad, it seems like the Jackfruit isn’t going away any time soon.

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Jackfruit gyros. Photo: @zestyvegetarian
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Jackfruit burger. Photo: The Jackfruit Company -@TheJackfruitco
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Jackfruit burrito. Photo: Annie Morris

So what are you waiting for? Find Jackfruit right on your doorstep. Here are the best places to grab it in central London:

The Blacksmith and the Toffee Maker – Angel, Islington. This pub does a magnificent BBQ pulled Jackfruit burger with dill pickle and slaw.

Club Mexicana – Found at: Kerb market (Camden, The Gherkin, Paddington and Kings Cross), and at Hawker House (Canada Water). They serve pulled jackfruit tacos that will blow your mind.

Vegbar – Brixton. At this fully vegan restaurant in South London, you can feast on a Jackfruit sandwich with all the trimmings.

Spicebox – Found at Kerb market (Camden, The Gherkin, Paddington, Kings Cross) Grab yourself a rather unusual (but super delicious Jackfruit Jalfrezi… we told you it was versatile!

Vegan Hippo – Soho. This vegan restaurant is renowned for its Jackfruit burger, with avocado, red pepper and kale chips. Yum.

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