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Jackfruit Finds a Following in North Carolina

Jackfruit Finds a Following in North Carolina

Jackfruit is the latest ingredient to take a starring role as a meat substitute. A relative of figs and mulberries, the huge fruit resembles a spiny green boulder that can weigh up to 80 pounds. Its flesh can be eaten as a fresh snack, but the fibrous pulp serves as a convincing stand-in for shredded chicken and pork. Marie Montemurro, co-owner of Lovey’s Natural Foods and Cafe, says jackfruit shows up as a barbecue sandwich, in wraps with slaw and in other preparations at the Wilmington restaurant. While it passes for meat that grows on a tree, jackfruit is lower in protein and fat while rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, so it’s likely your cardiologist would approve of the switch. “It shreds very well and makes a good vehicle for whatever you put on it,” says Michelle Mandeval, a member of the Lovey’s kitchen staff. “People still look at it with curiosity, but I think it’s starting to catch on.”

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