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Jackfruit Is Better Than Pulled Pork

These Dallas restaurants are proving that faux-barbecue is just as good as the real thing.
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Catherine Downes

We know this is going to sound like vegan propaganda, but it’s absolutely true: when unripe and shredded, the mild, tropical flesh of jackfruit has a similar texture to pulled pork. With a little work, it can approximate the flavor, too. If you don’t believe us, there are plenty of delicious opportunities to see how wrong you are. The monstrous fruit—found in Africa, Brazil, and Southeast Asia, it can grow to be 100 pounds—is currently appearing on menus all over Dallas.

Recipe Oak Cliff is serving one of the best jackfruit sandwiches in town (pictured). The intimate, 1,000-square-foot space in South Dallas is run by Tisha Crear, a vegetarian who also loves the flavors of barbecue. She spices up jackfruit with mesquite seasoning, maple, and smoked pepper, and tops it with a slaw of purple cabbage, butternut squash, zucchini, and vegan mayonnaise.

At Be Raw, jackfruit is brushed with a sweet and tangy sauce made from vinegar, molasses, chile, onion, garlic, paprika, and liquid smoke and served between house-made apple-and-flaxseed bread. The Libertine Bar makes a hearty version of the faux-barbecue sandwich, topping it with avocado and pickled red onions. And at Arepa TX, jackfruit is rubbed with paprika, cumin, and oregano; stuffed into a house-made arepa (corn cake); and served with barbecue sauce and jicama-cabbage slaw.

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