Of course once I saw the sign for the jackfruit, I was disappointed to see there were no jackfruits on display. James asked if they had any in storage, and luckily they did. We spent $19 for a jackfruit which I accidently opened too soon, so that I could say I tried my first jackfruit.
Two days after taking it home, I started noticing the signs of ripeness/maturity--the yellowing and bruising of the skin, pleasant aroma, and soft to touch. As soon as I cut the jackfruit in half, I realized the fruit pods were hard--not as soft as you want to properly eat them. However, I could tell that the jackfruit was close to ripe because of the orange color of the fruit.
As an experiment to ripen the fruits, I took out every pod from the shell (including the seeds). Then stored all the pods into a container in the refrigerator. With the amount of jackfruit you want to eat, place the bunch into a glass pan with aluminum foil over top. Then, without turning on the oven, placing the pan of jackfruit on the bottom wrack of the oven. This will warm the jackfruit, encouraging the fruit to ripen quickly (turning into sugar content), and become soft (easy to digest).
I kept the jackfruit in the oven for up to 5 hours before I started eating a couple pieces; but mostly I kept a small batch in the oven all day (up to 8 hours) to ripen. This really worked for the most part--the taste it better and the fruit is softer. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Another tip: Lather your hands with coconut oil and also rub coconut oil (or any oil) on the knife you will be using. This prevents the latex of the jackfruit not to stick to your skin and the knife.
Maybe because it was eaten slightly immature, I didn't favor the taste at first. As I am eating it now, it tastes slightly better. Some people say it tastes like juicy fruit gum, but I didn't get that flavor. Really it doesn't taste like anything I can compare it to.
Then today, I spent another $20 on mulberries, dragon fruit, and goji berries--also so that I can say that I have tried them and to experience the taste of each fruit.
It's a privilege to eat imported foods; then to think you're taking away food from people of that country (most likely impoverished).