Alexa M. Lemley, executive chef of Artisan Foodworks, has a similar tale to tell. "I discovered jackfruit as a savory component while doing some research for my vegan customers," she said. "Originally we started using it as taco filling, but with the amount of pulled pork we serve we knew that the vegans might feel left out, so the idea was born." She also says her customers rave about the concoction as well.
Ready to dive in?
If you're looking to try to whip up a batch on your own, Leslie Elia of Growing Vital Health, LLC has a bit of advice. "If you are using a young (not too ripe) jackfruit, that white pithy part will not have a lot of taste. Therefore, it will absorb the cumin, BBQ sauce, garlic, paprika, liquid smoke, chili, and other spices that you would make with your pork sauce." There's no shortage of recipes for pulled jackfruit, and you'll probably use a canned version of the fruit, unless you happen to have access to a Southeast Asian market.
If you're not up for tracking down and wrangling what looks like a 20lb sea urchin, there are a ton of restaurants getting in on the jackfruit "pulled pork" action, with tons more sure to pop up in the near future. A few recs I received were Tasty Harmony in Fort Collins, Colorado; Lulu's Local Eatery in St. Louis, Missouri; and Amazing Cafe in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.