Close relatives breadfruit and jackfruit are often confused with each other so we wanted to share some of the main differences and similarities between them to help clear things up--then it’s up to you to decide which to eat!
Jackfruit is thought to originate from South Asia and Southeast Asia while breadfruit is believed to have originated in New Guinea and the Indo-Malay region. Breadfruit and jackfruit do indeed have a similar external and internal appearance, as they are both members of the mulberry family. This similarity hides some major differences in taste, nutrition, and plant biology, however.
Taste, Texture & Smell:
- Ripe jackfruit contains many seed pods covered in a rubbery textured fruit while ripe ʻulu is soft and creamy inside.
- Jackfruit is mostly eaten in the sweet ripe phase but ʻulu is more commonly eaten before fully ripe when it has a potato-like texture.
- Jackfruit is very aromatic when ripe (smells like a mix of pineapple, onion and banana) while mature ʻulu has a mild earthy smell and ripe ʻulu smells lightly like banana and pumpkin.
- Breadfruit delivers higher fiber (4.9 g) per serving than jackfruit does (1.5 g)
- ʻUlu has more Vitamin C, iron, manganese, and phosphorus per serving than jackfruit.
- Jackfruit has a higher sugar (19.08 g vs 11 g) and fat content than breadfruit.
- Both the seeds of jackfruit and breadfruit are edible.
- Breadfruit delivers a complete protein while jackfruit is incomplete (meaning it does not contain all essential amino acids).
- Both ʻulu and jackfruit are considered "multiple fruits" because the flesh is made up of many individual flowers plus a fleshy stem axis. Pineapple is another familiar “multiple fruit.”
- Jackfruit and breadfruit trees both exude a sticky white sap which contains latex.
- Breadfruits develop at the end of branches while jackfruits develop from stems directly attached to the trunk.
- While a single breadfruit can grow over 7 lbs, jackfruits are the largest fruit produced from a tree, with the current record held by a 94 lb jackfruit!
So now that you understand some of the differences and similarities between breadfruit and jackfruit, which one would you choose? Some say breadfruit is healthier for you but, like all cousins, they each have unique strengths--try pairing our floral ʻulu flan recipe with fresh jackfruit for the ultimate fruity duo!