When I came through the Cradle of Love gate for the first time on August 11, my eyes immediately beheld this tree with terribly ugly fruits on it. I soon found out that they were called fenesi (jack fruits) and that they are a special favorite here. I asked the guard whether they were going to cut it down soon and eat it because it was looking pretty big. He told me it was not big enough yet so they must wait. Every once in awhile, I would ask the guard or the nannies if they were going to cut that enormous fruit down yet, but they would always say "we have to wait just a little bit longer."
I have heard many different opinions about jack fruit regarding the strong smell, taste, and texture, but I was simply eager to see what it was like straight off of the tree for myself. Finally, after four months of watching this thing grow, it was time to cut it down. Mama Musa, the supervisor of all the nannies, took charge of chopping the massive fruit. All of the nannies and the guards were so excited to eat this beloved fruit, while Sarah, Lilli and I were a bit more hesitant. Claire was downright repulsed by it all...she has previously decided she did not like jack fruit. I snapped the picture on the left on one of my first days here. That's our jack fruit tree!
I don't know when the other jack fruits on that tree will be ready to eat, but if we have to wait until they get as big as this one was, I don't know if I will still be here when they decide to chop another one down.
The taste is sweet, and the texture is kind of slimy and thick and interesting. I found if I took very small bites, it was an enjoyable fruit to eat. My tummy could not handle more than one or two pieces, though. I just started to feel kind of sick if I ate more than that. It's just a weird fruit...
Mama Musa gave this dish to us girls to take up to the apartment and save for the next day. After being in our fridge for maybe 10 minutes, it stunk up the whole thing! When we opened the fridge, it wafted through the whole apartment. Even after all the fruit was gone, we had to label the dish "jack fruit" and save it for the next time there is more jack fruit because we could not clean it properly. It is still sticky no matter how many times we wash it. Fenesi is quite a potent, powerful, and different fruit, but it was fun to try!
Fenesi Kubwa Sana - Very Big Jack Fruit