Can a Fruit Tickle Meat-Loving Tastebuds?

The Doctors sample jackfruit, a tropical fruit from the East Indies that is touted as a delicious vegan meat substitute. But does it live up to the hype?

Jackfruit is most commonly found in the U.S. canned rather than fresh – and maybe that’s a good thing, since Dermatologist Dr. Sonya Batra describes the smell of the fresh fruit as “pungent.”

Our four panelists dig into vegan jackfruit tacos – “I think it tastes surprisingly like pork!” says Psychotherapist Dr. Mike Dow. ER Physician Dr. Travis Stork is less enthusiastic. “It’s … OK.”

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Next up are BBQ sandwiches. “It takes on the taste of whatever you put it in, so it’s quite different” in different dishes, says Dr. Batra.

“Americans struggle to eat enough fruits and vegetables,” notes Dr. Dow. “The happiest people around the world eat seven servings of fruits and vegetables every day.” This is a great way for people to squeeze in an extra fruit serving.

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Dr. Stork notes that while high in fiber, jackfruit doesn’t have much protein. His meat substitute of choice is beans. “Beans are so affordable, high in fiber, high in protein.” However, jackfruit is great for someone who really craves that pork texture – and, Dr. Batra adds, it’s packed with vitamins and antioxidants.