February of 2013, I took a trip to Robert is Here and paid a lot of money for a 25 pound jakfruit. As the name states, Robert was here, and I asked him if he had a clue what variety the jakfruit might be. He asked one of the workers in the back area but the most definitive answer they were able to give was a shrug of the shoulders. I waited a few days for it to ripen and based on the long pointed bulbs, flesh color, time of year, and flavor guessed it to be a J-31.
I decided to plant some of the seeds, thinking that the seedlings might give off season fruit. August 21, 2013, I planted 5 of the seedings in a line next to a fence, 6 feet apart. The trees all grew differently, some are dense and some sparse, some compact and some are reaching for the sky. All the trees flowered heavily this year, but all appeared to be male flowers. The first in the line, a dense, medium height tree, actually put out a female.
On Wednesday, I took a look at the fruit. I squeezed it and it was rock hard. I gave it a tap and the sound it made was a sharp ping. It sounded like an over-inflated red rubber ball, the kind used for playing dodge ball. Today, my mom visits the house and she inquires about the jakfruit and she touches it and it was soft! In two days it goes from not being close to ripe to ready for eating.
The fruit weighted 10 pounds. I cut it in half and was shocked to see orange bulbs. The flesh was crisp, sweet, with a tiny bit of acidity. The flavor reminds me of a little bit of the red LifeSavers candy, but I haven't had one in 30 years so I may be delusional.
Oddly, while eating half the fruit, I only encountered one normal seed. All the others were aborts, smaller than a pea. When seeds are aborted in jakfruits, the bulb flesh does not fully develop. I had very little rain the last few months, which may have been a factor with all the aborted seeds and thin flesh of the bulbs.
It will be interesting to see what happens next year!