Did you know that there are several different jackfruit varieties worldwide? Although many of them might look similar to the untrained eye, there are a number of differences that you may be able to spot. Let’s take a look at some of them so you can see what’s available in your area, and when.
Names of Jackfruit Varieties & Types
Although the Australian Cheena variety is classified as a jackfruit, it’s a hybrid between a jack and a champedak, which is related to breadfruit. These are oblong in shape, with greenish-yellow skins that turn brighter yellow as the fruits mature, which happens between July and August.
The inner flesh is apricot-colored and somewhat fibrous, though it can be removed easily. It’s very sweet and flavorful, and almost melts in the mouth when you eat it.
2. Black Gold
Aussie Black Gold jackfruits are medium-sized, weighing around 22 lbs, and are fully ripe in September–October. It has bright yellow skin and deep orange flesh, which is moderately soft and very sweet. The underripe fruit is delightfully firm and ideal for savory dishes.
3. Golden Nugget
Golden Nugget is yet another Australian jackfruit variety. It’s round and on the smaller side, typically weighing 7–8 pounds, with bright yellow skin. Its dark orange flesh is moderately firm when underripe but can be downright buttery once fully ripened.
These fruits are ready to be harvested between May and June. They’re primarily grown in Queensland but are transported to fruit markets all over the country.
4. Chompa Gob
Chompa Gob jackfruit trees grow in Singapore, and are blocky rather than rounded. They grow to a medium size and weigh between 12 and 20 pounds. They’re moderately fragrant, and their bright orange flesh is fairly firm and sweet.
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You’ll likely be able to identify an Australian Cochin jackfruit because it looks a bit different from most other varieties. These fruits are small, only weighing 2–5 lbs, and their spines open up and flatten as they mature. Additionally, while many other jackfruits are round or oblong, Cochins are irregularly shaped—rather like spiny yellow tumors.
This Indonesian cultivar is medium-large, weighing an average of 20–24 lbs. Its skin is yellowish-green with irregular, blunt spines, and its inner flesh is very pale yellow in color. The fruits tend to be misshapen, so they’re rather lumpy and oddly shaped rather than uniformly round or oblong.
Although the fruit doesn’t have a strong scent, the flesh is quite sweet and tasty when fully ripe.
7. Golden Pillow
Golden Pillow is another beautiful Thai variety. It has a round, uniform shape, and can weigh 8-14 lbs at full maturity. While most other jackfruits have yellow skin, this one has an intense green hue instead. Its spines are blunt and pliant, and its yellow-orange inner flesh is surprisingly sweet.
Additionally, while other jackfruits have soft, almost slurpy flesh when fully ripe, Golden Pillow’s flesh is crunchy.
8. Honey Gold
Here we have another Australian variety. It’s blocky like a Chompa Gob, and is another medium-sized cultivar that won’t get much larger than 10–12 lbs. It ripens in July and August and has dark, yellow-orange flesh that’s firm, but still silky and sweet.
9. Dang Rasimi
This medium-large variety is usually around 17–20 lbs at full maturity, with an oblong shape and bright yellow skin. The moderately soft, deep orange flesh is quite sweet when ripe, and both its scent and flavor are quite similar to mango.
10. Lemon Gold
Have you ever seen a square watermelon before? The Australian Lemon Gold jackfruit has a similar, block-like shape rather than being rounded. It’s a smaller variety, weighing in around 12–13 lbs at maturity. The inner flesh is extraordinarily sweet, with a firm, crisp texture.
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11. Kun Wi Chan
This is a variety from Thailand that’s large and round, weighing in at an average of 30 to 40 lbs. The outer skins are bright yellow, while the innards are a paler yellow hue. The flesh isn’t valued as much as others as it’s neither particularly flavorful nor pleasantly textured.
As a result, this variety is often used when underripe, as it takes on flavors well for savory dishes, chips, and the like.
Here we have a small-medium Malaysian cultivar that ripens between May and June. The fruits are small and blocky and weigh around 10–12 lbs on average. The inner flesh is dark orange and has a rich, sweet flavor. It’s one of the most treasured jackfruit varieties around and is now successfully cultivated in South America as well as in Florida, Hawaii, Mexico, and Jamaica.
13. J-30 and 31
These two Malaysian varieties are very similar in appearance. They both have dark green skins and prominent spines and weigh an average of 20 to 25 lbs at maturity. Furthermore, their flesh is almost identical: firm and fragrant, with a deliciously sweet, earthy flavor when ripe.
Their differences lie in their shapes and ripening cycles. J-31 fruits ripen early, between May and June, and are lumpy and irregularly shaped. In contrast, J-30 fruits are oblong and ripen between late July and late August.
14. Mijar Giant
This enormous jackfruit variety is native to the Dakshina Kannada region in Karnataka, India. The enormous, rounded fruits grow up to 80 lbs, with greenish-yellow skin and flattened spines. Since the pale interior flesh isn’t particularly flavorful, it’s used to make papadums, chips, and other savory snacks. This variety is also ideal as a vegan meat substitute.
15. Mankale Red
Mankale Red jackfruit comes from the Mankale region in Karnataka, India. Its skin is dark, almost olive green in hue, and its inner flesh is bright red. It’s this interior hue that gave this variety its name. Each fruit weighs between 22 and 44 pounds, and its flesh is extraordinarily sweet when ripe. Additionally, the flesh stays crispy when ripe, unlike other varieties that go squishy instead.
16. Pathamuttam Red
Red-fleshed jackfruit only grows in Karnataka, India. Pathamuttam Red is a smaller cousin to Mankale jackfruit, usually weighing in at only 5–8 lbs. Like Mankale Red, it has vibrant, almost ruby-red flesh that gets beautifully sweet when fully ripe. The skins are quite thin, and the spines flatten out as the fruits ripen, which happens between May and July. Interestingly, the sweetest fruits tend to be the most misshapen ones, so be sure to choose the “ugliest” ones you can find!
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17. Varashree Red
This is another variety from Karnataka, as you may have gleaned from the fact that it has “red” in its name. Interestingly, this variety has also been grown successfully in Goa. The fruits are medium-sized (around 20 pounds), with yellow-green skins and sweet, crunchy, bright orange flesh. They’re fully ripe in June, but you can harvest in May for underripe, savory use.
18. Janagere Yellow
Janagere Yellow jackfruit grows in Goa and Kerala and yields medium-sized fruits. These weigh 18-20 lbs, with yellow-beige skins and bright yellow flesh. As you can guess, these golden hues are what gave this variety its name. Harvest in June or July for optimal ripeness.
19. Vietnam Super Early
Since most jackfruit trees take at least three years to bear fruit, the Vietnam Super Early variety is a godsend to many farmers. This beauty yields fruits just one year after planting! The fruits are small to medium in size, with lime green skins and pale yellow-orange flesh.
Although there are several jackfruit varieties available in Sri Lanka, Kothmale leads the way as far as overall quality goes. The fruits are medium-large and oblong, with lime green-yellow skins and yellow interior flesh. They mature between March and June and have soft, sweet, juicy flesh when fully ripe.
21. Brazil Jack
As you may have guessed, this is a jackfruit variety from Brazil. The fruits were naturalized there from India by Portuguese traders, and are known as “jaca” throughout South America. Brazilians only eat fully mature, sweet jackfruit, and this variety gets sugary sweet when completely ripe. The fruits weigh about 20 lbs, with bright lime green skins and pale yellow flesh.
22. Malaysian Dwarf
Malaysian Dwarf jackfruit is unusual because it yields fruits twice a season: before and after the monsoons fall. As you may have guessed from its description, it’s a smaller tree variety and its fruits reflect its shorter stature. The fruits only get to about 10 pounds in size, with olive-green skins and bright orange inner flesh.
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23. Orange Crush
Can you guess what color flesh this jackfruit has to offer? If you guessed “orange”, you’re quite correct. This variety thrives in both California and Florida, and has beautiful green skin and dark orange flesh. The fruits grow to an average of 20 lbs and their flesh is both sweet and crunchy when fully ripened.
24. Hemachandra Jack
This variety yields its harvest in August and September, with medium-sized, 20 lb fruits. They’re neither the sweetest nor the juiciest jackfruit variety, nor are they particularly flavorful. Hemachandra types are considered “poor man’s food” in Bangladesh because they’re lower quality, best used in stews when underripe.
25. Singapuri Wada
Singapuri Wada is a hybrid that’s currently being cultivated in India. It’s a cross between a Singapore cultivar (as you may have guessed) blended with a Malaysian variety. It yields gorgeously sweet, medium-sized oblong fruits with bright yellow-green skins. They average between 11 and 30 pounds and are apparently some of the tastiest fruits available in the Maharashtra region.
26. Zima Pink
Do you live in Hawaii? If so, keep your eye out for Zima Pink jackfruits. As you may have guessed from its name, this is one of the many jackfruit varieties named after the color of its flesh. While its skin is dark greenish-yellow when mature, its sweet, thick, crunchy inner flesh is orange-pink in hue.
27. Byrachandra Super Early
This Bengali cultivar was the star of the show at the 2019 jackfruit festival in Mysore, Karnataka. It yields large, oblong-shaped, pale green fruits with a bright orange interior. The flesh is firm and chewy, rather than crunchy, and is ideal for both underripe and fully ripe harvest. When ripe, the flesh is sweet and musky: perfect for desserts.
Jackfruit is one of the three sacred trees in Tamil Nadu, and the primary variety is Gulabi, which means “rose-scented”. It has light green skin and soft, sweet, pale yellow flesh. The fruits grow upwards of 80 lbs, and their spines smooth out significantly as they mature.
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Most jackfruit varieties have a fair bit of latex in their flesh, which accounts for their occasionally rubbery texture. In contrast, Gumless jackfruits have the lowest latex content of all known cultivars so far. Its texture is slippery, rather like a raw oyster, and exquisitely sweet when fully ripe.
30. Dang Surya
This variety is described as tasting like honey, which sounds absolutely glorious. They originated in Thailand and Malaysia, and are now grown in Kerala as well. The trees are dwarf cultivars, which means that the fruits are on the smaller side as well. They rarely grow above 10 lbs and have golden yellow skins and peachy interior flesh.
What’s the Best-Tasting Jackfruit Variety?
That’s really a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer their jackfruit to have a crisp, crunchy texture and mild sweetness. In contrast, others love to slurp their way through the sweetest fruity flesh they can find.
According to most experts, the best-tasting jackfruit varieties are those that have “gold” in their name. For example, Lemon Gold, Black Gold, and Golden Nugget all rate high on the list of overall deliciousness.
These three cultivars tip the scales because they combine delicious, sweet flavors with pleasing textures and aromas. Of course, you should probably taste as many as you can in order to decide for yourself!
Varieties by Location
Most of the jackfruits you’ll find in the USA are grown in Florida or California. In Florida, you’ll find Malaysian Dwarf, Brazil Jack, and Lemon Gold. Hawaiians can look for Zima Pink, Black Gold, or Golden Nugget.
Of course, jackfruits are found in fruit markets all over the USA. Although home-grown jacks may be popular when in season, you’ll likely find a wider variety in Asian and South American grocery stores year-round.
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Malaysian Dwarf, Brazil Jack, Lemon Gold, and Black Gold are all popular cultivars in Florida. The climate there is very similar to the tropical forests in India, Malaysia, and Indonesia where these trees thrive best.
Kerala and Karnataka are both regions in India where jackfruit thrives, and you can find specific species from those areas listed further down. As for varieties grown outside of those regions, look for Hemachandra, Janagere Yellow, Singapuri Wada.
Orange Crush and Lemon Gold are the top jackfruit varieties grown in California. Of course, you’ll be able to taste other cultivars that have been imported for resale too.
Jackfruits are known as “kos” in Sri Lanka. The primary variety there is Kothmale, though you’ll also find Singapuri Wada and Maharagama there.
J-30, J-31, and NS1 are the most common Malaysian varieties. You can find Janagere Yellow and Byrachandra there as well.
Jackfruit is the state fruit of Tamil Nadu, and the fruits grown in Chakka Gramam can weigh close to 100 pounds. The most common cultivars grown here are Mankale Red and Hemachandra.
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Kerala’s climate is ideal for growing fruit trees, and many gorgeous jackfruit varieties thrive there. One of the most vibrant ones is the rare Thailand Pink jackfruit, which is the primary cultivar grown in that region. You can also find Vietnam Super Early, though it’s not as common.
This southwestern Indian province is home to the beautiful Mankale Red jackfruit. It’s named after the Mankale region in which it grows. You can also find Mijar Giant, Varashree Jack, Rudrakshi Red, Byrachandra Super, and just about any other red-hued jackfruit variety.
Dang Rasimi and Tinumbaga are two of the most popular cultivars in the Philippines.
As you can see, there’s a startling number of jackfruit varieties out there. The next time you go shopping, see if you can identify some of them at the fruit markets you visit! Naturally, you’ll have to taste them to make sure, so enjoy every delicious moment.