To say the jackfruit is big is an understatement. It is the largest tree-borne fruit on the planet – it isn’t unusual to come across beasts weighing up to 35kg in South America and South-east Asia. And it has been hailed as a “miracle crop” because of its size, and resistance to pests and drought. And its nutritional credentials are also impressive: researchers have suggested it could replace wheat, corn and other staple crops that may come under threat because of climate change. Once you get through its tough, green, knobbly exterior, you’re hit with a faint whiff of onion, sticky sap and odd looking seed pods that taste like a cross between a pineapple and a pear. So far, so fruity. But what really sets the jackfruit apart is what it can do to savoury dishes, especially its ability to imitate pulled pork after several hours on the hob. Pulled jackfruit is made from the younger fruit – “green jackfruit”, widely sold in tins and, thankfully, much easier to carry home from work than a bad smelling lump the size of a child. Meat substitutes are 10 a penny these days, ranging from gluten based seitan, to soy-based tofu, to the wide variety of disturbingly realistic meat-flavoured Quorn products on offer. But jackfruit wins hands down. This all-natural, non processed ingredient has fibrous flesh that can take on almost any flavour – green jackfruit can replace carnitas in tacos, braised beef in burritos, spiced lamb topping for flatbreads.