There is a major difference between young and ripe jackfruit that must be noted: young jackfruit is unripe and not at all sweet, and ripe jackfruit is, well, a fruit! Young jackfruit can be harvested for use as a meat alternative, and can really only be found in a can in the United States (and now a package, with Upton’s new products!). Mature jackfruit, or jackfruit that grows long enough to reach ripeness, is golden yellow inside and is eaten raw as a fruit. It’s extremely sweet; the flavor could be compared to Juicy Fruit gum. Ripe jackfruit can be found in supermarkets and Asian groceries in the US, but cannot be used as a meat alternative.
Because of that difference, and the difficulty of working with young jackfruit, the Upton’s jackfruit is the first product of its kind. We took this opportunity to photograph the jackfruit trees, and get some product photos of the new jackfruit packaging at the source.
The white tarp made a natural background for a young jackfruit still life!
Since January is not harvest season, the young jackfruit were really young and still needed time to grow. However, the farmers were kind enough to cut down a couple of young jackfruit to show us the process.
Harvesting some jackfruit. These fruits are extremely small (full-grown jackfruit can weigh up to 80lbs or more!).
Cutting open the jackfruit. Young jackfruit produces a natural latex that kind of spills out when you cut open the young jackfruit.
Jackfruit also oxidizes extremely quickly! Minutes before this photo was taken, the fruit was pure white inside, and as you can see, it’s already starting to brown. This is a major reason that young jackfruit can’t be imported overseas, and that Upton’s chose to produce their products out in Thailand.
The whole family came out for our visit!
Checking out the packages:
We were out in rural Thailand, so there were many other crops growing in the area. Across the path from this particular jackfruit farm was a rubber tree farm producing natural rubber.
The sun was going down quickly, but we managed to get some portraits with the jackfruit, and everyone that came out for the afternoon!
Jackfruit on jackfruit truck:
We brought “the” jackfruit back to the hotel and continued some product photography around the city of Bangkok on my last full day (I’ll be sure to share those photos later as well.
There are so many photos altogether!). Here is the entire jackfruit product line hanging out in a Bangkok phone booth:
I’ll continue posting more Thailand photos, especially on Instagram, so be sure to follow along at @kellypelozaphoto.
I prefer working with small businesses with an artful, open-ended approach to visuals over standard product photography any day of the week, so get in touch if your company is looking for a visual refresh!