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For Reinhart customers, TRACS Direct is the industry leading online kitchen & restaurant management system. Use this tool to monitor inventory, store recipes, manage food costs, search for recipe alternatives, garner nutritional info, and so much more. TRACS Direct gives operators the option to input orders to Reinhart themselves, on their time.

  • VOL 08, ISSUE 01 • WINTER 2020
You Don’t Know Jack Fruit

You Don’t Know Jack Fruit

Much of the culinary world is slowly catching on to what vegan and vegetarian chefs have known for years: Jackfruit can work wonders in your kitchen.

Jackfruit, a hefty, hearty, hard-shelled fruit that looks like an overgrown oblong-shaped spiky cantaloupe, grows in Brazil, Southeast Asia and central and eastern Africa. It has been a favorite in vegan cooking for its fibrous, stringy interior resembling pulled pork when cooked, but without the animal protein.

Young, unripe neutral-flavored jackfruit can get mixed with anything – barbecue sauce, curry, teriyaki sauce – and adapts that flavor. Mature ripe jackfruit has a sweetness resembling mango or pineapple. You can serve the high-fiber, low-fat fruit in chili, tacos, stir fry, as a sandwich and more. Its hard shell and sticky-white residue can make it difficult to work with; fortunately Chicago's Upton's Naturals sells it pre-packaged seasoned and unseasoned.

“Jackfruit is one of those ingredients that allows a chef to deliver a great dish that has texture and taste and looks great,” says Andy Kalish, who conducts recipe development and branding at his wife Gina Marino-Kalish's Chicago vegan restaurant, Kal'ish. “Prepared well, it's delicious.”

To help get you started, here are recipes from Kalish as well as James Beard Award-nominated vegan chef Richard Landau, who co-owns Philadelphia's Vedge, V Street and Wiz Kid with his wife, Kate Jacoby; and Jesse Houston, executive chef of Fine & Dandy in Jackson, Miss.

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