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With a stringy texture and rich taste, vegetarians, vegans and health-conscious barbecuers have discovered that jackfruits can be welcome substitutes for pulled pork.

It’s tough being the only vegetarian at the barbecue. Sure, you’ve got options, but those have become a bit predictable, with vegetables and halloumi cheese often thrown on the grill as an afterthought. Instead, why not try an ingredient that actually imitates the texture of meat? This summer, up your BBQ game and earn your vegetarian friends’ enduring respect by giving pulled jackfruit a starring role. 

Jackfruit has been a crucial cooking component in tropical climates for generations. The size of a small melon, jackfruit has a green, nubby shell that may remind you of a pineapple. Its gummy, fibrous texture makes it great for absorbing sauces, and a perfect component of curries, stews, salads, and salsas.

Fans are split on the flavour, with some calling it sweet when ripe, while others liken it to another barbecue favourite in its unripe state: pulled pork. This barbecue delicacy has been a summer staple in the southern United States for generations, and is made by cooking the most tender and fattiest part of the animal (usually pork shoulder) slowly over low heat, then pulling the meat into strands with a fork. Jackfruit, when done right, results in a melt-in-your-mouth texture with a concentrated flavour that pairs perfectly with barbecue sauce. And what’s more, it’s super simple to make on the grill using the GBS Wok accessory.