Langkâ. Jackfruit in English. It’s similar to the durian but, thankfully, it doesn’t reek as much as durian does. I am fortunate to have a healthy, prolific tree growing in our backyard. And every summer, it favors us with an abundance of fruit — heavy and humongous… and spiky — which, in my rough estimate, can weigh up to 20-25 kilos on the average (medium-sized by most standards). After waiting very patiently for weeks, we pick them at their perfect state of ripeness, with the bright yellow flesh still firm and beautifully sweet.
There are so many ways to enjoy langkâ (or nangka, as it is called in some provinces). More than any other way, I like to eat it fresh and raw and just slightly chilled, in all its natural and fragrant sweetness and the flesh firm and crunchy-chewy.
Unfortunately, we usually have no leftovers of the peeled fruit, because otherwise, I do enjoy slivers of it inside turon or rolled “lumpia” of sweet saging na saba (cardava banana, in English). Most of my friends, though, especially the ones who live abread, think halu-halò at the mention of langkâ. But we also set aside the big seeds inside each jackfruit aril. These are boiled or roasted. The seeds have a subtle, nutty taste. A good and healthy snack.
Even the unripe fruit can still be enjoyed as Guinataang Langkâ — cooked in coconut milk, with a little bit of sliced fresh chili pepper, and shrimp or dried/salted fish (daing, dilis, or tinapa).