Jacked Up

My First Jack Fruit, Ever

Having seen beautiful pictures of South East Asia, and travelers tasting different exotic foods there, one being the Jack Fruit or Durian Fruit as it is also known; I was hoping to taste one, someday! It seemed that on one could describe the taste accurately, so I had a really clean canvas to explore.

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The one thing everyone agreed upon, was it’s awful smell. The Jack Fruit’s aroma made it unlikely to be well relished, making it a bit more difficult to ponder devouring it! So, and however, when persons got past the smell of the fruit, they all raved about how delicious it tasted; amazing, yummy, mouth watering, delectable flavor!

Lets discuss the “smell”, which wasn’t as repugnant as I thought; although, the first day there was a wafting odor from my kitchen sink. If you’ve ever smelled fresh from the plant Aloe Vera, it is similar to the Jack Fruit, (to me) the Aloe is stronger! The difference is that the Jack Fruit’s smell goes into the air, where as with fresh Aloe you need to get close to it, and get a good whiff.

Jack Fruit aka Big Al

I was pleasantly surprised, when a local green market had a Durian fruit! Of course, I snatched it up right away, and chatted with the merchant about how to prep it, and what was edible. He said that juice was also an option, and gave me some basic hints for juicing; also admitting, he had two trees in his yard!

At long last, I have a Jack fruit to call my own, it was big, heavy, and green; something like you want your bank account to be! Naming it “Big Al”, which is the name it inspired, although I normally don’t name fruits I’m sooner, or later, going to eat. Big Al, The Jack Fruit, or the Durian, “You Can Call Me Al”, as the Paul Simon song played in my head! I swear, and this is just from a fruit, that is new to me! Now, that’s excitement!!

Jack Fruit with mangoes, and bougainvillea.

I’m thinking splendid, right? Since, I can’t recall that anyone has actually described the flavor of Jack Fruit, ever! I’m full of anticipation. I start opening the fruit, by using a long kitchen knife, not sure where to exactly incise my cut? So, I decided to just go straight in, lengthwise into the fruit and feeling the large pods (seeds) underneath the blade of the knife. Trying to somehow cut as few pods as possible, which are covered in a creamy-yellow-flesh, I use my hands to negotiate a tug of war with the fruit’s sinuous fibers. The fruit’s peel, is full of tiny green cone-shaped mounds, which makes for one touch skin!

Jack Fruit cut in half.

The sticky-milk substance, stains my hands, and glues to every surface of my finger nails; actually it’s damn good glue, capturing a small fly that happened to make a bad judgement-call, and landed on the opened half! My knife is completely covered with the glue, and it looks like it’ll take a lot of soaking to get it clean.

Jack Fruit with seed pods.

Success! I am getting the flesh and squirting out the seed pods, taking the fleshy part for my first taste, ever!!! Uhm, wait a minute, this is Jack Fruit? That’s it??? Ok, so maybe I need to have a few more tastes, one of which was very sweet, however for the most part…not as exciting as I expected.

The fight with Big Al, was a pretty big, the struggle of getting it opened, the work of cleaning the fleshy-fruit, and the naturally-organic-glue all over my hands lead to one question: was it worth it?

Well, lets discuss, and understand the flavor more carefully. Describing the delicate flavor of the Jack Fruit isn’t easy at first, as taste-buds search for a reference.

The flavor is slightly vanilla-like, however it’s also banana-ish, maybe tapioca-banana-ish!

Yes that’s it, tapioca-banana, only not as sweet.

Jack Fruit, and mangoes still life.

So, that’s it! Unless someone peels, and preps the Jack Fruit for me, I’m not doing it again. Maybe there’s a better way to open a Jack Fruit, but I wasn’t thrilled with the flavor.

I do keep wondering about how Jack Fruit can be used in desserts, or even martinis, and maybe mimosas? A Jack-tini, maybe??

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Cheers, I will let you know how my search for recipes, and uses for Jack Fruit continues!

Important To Know:

Power Health Food – This is where Jack Fruit exceeds expectations!

More Health Benefits of Jack Fruit

Info and Side Effects


Vegetarian Jack Fruit Shawarma

Chipotle Jack Fruit Tacos

Six Ingredient Pulled Jack Fruit

Unmasking Love

I read something somewhere, relating to Love At First Sight (we’ll call it LAFS for short). The stats reveal that men are more likely to report having falling in love at first sight, however, stats be what they may, are not what I have been thinking about. The question I have been pondering, is one of cause and effect, of the eternal loop hole that can say so much; that ultimately slips by in the confusion of the moment. Loop hole? So, maybe that’s the best way to describe it; that “thingy” that happens, when everyone is watching, and you go in the other direction!

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So, how does LAFS come into the conversation, the thought process, or conjure itself up into a question in the age of pandemic?

Well, it’s a very simple word “mask”! Ok, maybe two simple words, the other word is “philtrum”!  Wait, before you switch off, it’s actually quite interesting, and not that scientific of a boring word; because we all have one, just like a belly-button!

The Greeks call it “philtron”, or a quick translation “love charm” (which could be said in your best Barry White voice), or “love potion”.

If you’re starting to squirm, and yell “where is it, get it off”, you should be ashamed, or even sorry! The fact is, it is right in your face, and yes it appears “it” has a lot to do with LAFS; sorry, not sorry!

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The “philtrum” is that indent between your nose, and your upper lip!  And, you probably will look at everyone differently from now on, because now you know; or have been reminded.  The power of the “love charm”, or philtrum, is that when we gaze at someone, we decide if we are attracted to that person based on the definition of that area.  Once, I was made aware of this, it definitely made me take a closer look, or at least became “woke”,  in the basics of rudimentary attraction.

I dare say, that the philtrum, may not be alone in the awaking of very human emotions, surely personality will also play a significant role, along with other attributes.  However, it does appear to be one of the very things, that makes the heart go Boom!

See the source image

If everything above is true, then what happens in the age of pandemic? Is wearing a mask a deterrent to primal instincts when it comes to love, and can we therefore expect less LAFS during this time? Are we therefore forced to make more eye contact, and rely on that as a new form of gaining love, and intimacy?

See the source image

Above is Queen Leticia, of Spain, who was a meteorologist on afternoon television, as the story has it, the then Prince Felipe (also shown above in the picture) fell in love with her while watching her on the tele; and, the rest is history!

Ironically, it seems that most people believe that gazing into someone’s eyes, is what captivated them to begin with.

What do you think?




Fear of People Staring At You: From Bing/Very Well Mind

Facial drawing: Wikipedia

Queen Leticia: Bing Images

Queen Leticia & King Felipe VI – EPA/Bing Images

We do not own images used, and are available on Bing images, and Wikipedia as referenced here.

Related Reading:

Psychology Today: LAFS Real?

Feelings of LAFS Described Here

Upper Female Lip & Sex

Importance of  Philtrum During Gestation

Chicago Restaurant Association Chef’s Table 2012 at Union Station

chef’s Table Union Station, Chicago: Get Tickets Please!

Vino Con Vista Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Wino

The 35th Annual Chicago Restaurateurs for Education Event is “From the Chef’s Table.” This premier Foodie event will feature some of Chicago’s top restaurants and executive chefs.

WHEN: Friday, November 9th, 2012

WHERE: Union Station in Chicago at 500 W. Jackson

To buy your tickets online please click here.

Founded in 1914, the Illinois Restaurant Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, protecting, educating and improving the restaurant industry in Illinois.

The foodservice industry in Illinois produces $19.2 billion in annual sales and is the largest private sector employer in the State. The Association’s events provide networking opportunities for members and raise funds for their Educational Foundation Scholarship Initiative. This organization also sponsors The Chicago Gourmet.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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For Kids Of All Ages: A Very Gooooy Treat!

Kids Are From Pluto - A Mother's Guide to a Child's World

Marshmallow Cake-1

One of my favorite things about Halloween is being able to use this day as an excuse to eat more dessert, good ol’ Halloween sweet treats. =) Sure you’ll be passing out candy to trick-or-treaters or to your child’s friends and classmates, but is that going to stop you from sneaking in a piece or two? Of course not, it’s Halloween!

If you’re in the giving mood and want to make treats for your family, friends, coworkers, or anyone else really, you definitely have plenty of options in terms of Halloween-themed food ideas. You can obtain inspiration from my Halloween Board, bake Halloween-themed cupcakes, follow my kid-friendly pumpkin recipes, or do an endless Google search for Halloween inspired dishes.

Today, I’d like to disclose to you a simple, quick, affordable, and SHAREABLE Halloween Sweet Treat called Marshmallow Popcorn Cake. This wonderful dessert is colorful, sweet, crunchy, sticky…

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FinerThings LA

2014: Can anyone confirm if this deal is still offered?

We have been trying to track down the details on the St. Felix Bottomless Mimosa Brunch for what seems like forever. Obviously our efforts were of the laziest variety: checking their website, sending twitter messages, scanning Facebook. All futile efforts for the past couple months. And then we had the bright idea to call them… JACKPOT! And all the glorious boozy information is now in our hands:

Boozy Brunch Spot: St. Felix, Hollywood

Brunching Hours: 11am – ‘whenever’ (quoted straight from our source on the phone at St. Felix) 

Bottomless Deal: $20 Bottomless Mimosas w/ Entree Purchase + Build Your Own Bloody Mary Bar (Not bottomless, cost varies depending on the ingredients you select)

Menu Highlights: No clue. There was mention from our lovely informer of ‘specialty brunch items’, and we see similar mention on their facebook page. But nary…

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Cumin-Spiced Chicken and Egg Salad

You know you want this!

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Desa's Dishes

A few weeks ago I made an offhand comment in…well, a comment about making these cupcakes as a way to spit in the eye of all my friends with dietary restrictions.  This recipe has animal products, refined sugar, alcohol, gluten…pretty much everything you need to cut people out of dessert time except for nut allergies.  The comment was born out of break-up aggravation and anger, and I figured channeling that through defiant cupcake baking was more productive than lashing out or boring my friends.  Also, it was my sister-in-law’s early birthday celebration the same weekend and she loves these, so win win!  In fact, I first made these when we went bridesmaids’ dress shopping for her wedding two years ago.  Cupcakes + prewedding diets = still totally delicious.

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The Slow Food Show: Salone del Gusto 2012 in Turin Italy

Torino 2012 Salone del Gusto

Vino Con Vista Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Wino

Residences of the Royal House of Savoy (Italy)
Image by Jetske19 via Flickr

The Slow Food Show: Salon del Gusto is a mecca for artisinal food and wine lovers in Turin, Italy.

WHEN: The event takes place between October 25-29, 2012.

WHERE: Lingotto Fiere at Via Nizza 280 in Turin, Italy.

Buy TICKETS here.

Nebbiolo has a long history in the Alba region...

“Slow Food’s approach to agriculture, food production and gastronomy is based on a concept of food quality defined by three interconnected principles:

GOOD a fresh and flavorsome seasonal diet that satisfies the senses and is part of our local culture;

CLEAN food production and consumption that does not harm the environment, animal welfare or our health;

FAIR accessible prices for consumers and fair conditions and pay for small-scale producers.”

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