The jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) is a species of tree in the Artocarpus genus of the mulberry family (Moraceae). It is native to parts of Southern and Southeast Asia. It is the national fruit of Bangladesh, (locally called Kathal).
The flesh of the jackfruit is starchy, fibrous and is a source of dietary fiber. The flavour is similar to a tart banana. Varieties of jackfruit are distinguished according to the characteristics of the fruits' flesh. In Brazil, three varieties are recognized. These are: jaca-dura, or "hard" variety, which has firm flesh and the largest fruits that can weigh between 15 and 40 kilograms each; jaca-mole, or "soft" variety, which bears smaller fruits, with softer and sweeter flesh; and jaca-manteiga, or "butter" variety, which bears sweet fruits, whose flesh has a consistency intermediate between the "hard" and "soft" varieties.
In Kerala, two varieties of jackfruit predominate: varikka and kuzha. Varikka has slightly hard inner flesh when ripe, while the inner flesh of the ripe kuzha fruit is very soft and almost dissolving. A sweet preparation called Chakka Varattiyathu is made by seasoning the Varikka fruit flesh pieces in jaggery, which can be preserved and used for many months. Huge jackfruits up to 4 feet in length with matching girth are sometimes seen in Kerala. In Mangalore, Karnataka the varieties are called bakke and imba. The pulp of the imba jackruit is ground and is made into a paste. It is then spread over a mat and is allowed to dry in the sun to create a natural chewy candy.