You can’t really visit Mawanga and Pastor Paul’s home without experiencing the fruit that the village produces. Whether it is mangos, passionfruit, pineapple or watermelon, you will experience the best tasting fruit you’ve ever had. But no other fruit takes the time and energy than that of a jackfruit or known as ffene in Uganda. A jackfruit is a social affair that isn’t as simple as just cutting it up and eating it.
My husband looking for the perfect jackfruit
First you have to climb to the top of the tree to get to the big ones to see if they sound hallow. I was once told that a good jackfruit makes the same sound as your hand hitting your stomach. Once you have chosen the perfect jackfruit, you will need a good sharp panga (knife) to cut it down.
All prepped and ready to enjoy
Make sure you don’t forget the vaseline or cooking oil on your hands before breaking into a jackfruit to keep the stickiness off your hands. Forget about the interesting smell it gives off and just enjoy the massive amount of fruit it produces.
Wiping away the sticky from inside with a banana leaf
Now jackfruit can range in size and weight. They can be anywhere from 10-30kgs and quite large. Which is why they are commonly shared among many people sitting in the shade under a tree.
Sharing stories and jackfruit
The people of Uganda love jackfruit. My husband misses it so much he almost spent a hefty amount on one that we found in a store here in Canada. Thankfully he decided that $120+ is too much for a fruit that costs so much less in Uganda, and free in the villages if you have jackfruit trees around.
If you have never tried jackfruit, you owe it to yourself to volunteer and visit Mawanga to really experience this fruit that brings people together.