Thursday, August 10, 2006

Revenge of the Jackfruit

Last time we went to chinatown, I got some canned jackfruit. Last week, we tried it out and I really enjoyed it. When I saw frozen jackfruit today, I knew I had to try it for sure.

It sure looked interesting, much more so than when it comes in cans. I liked seeing more of the fruit this time, it had about one part of the rind still on it. I tried some and enjoyed it, till I felt the effects.

My tongue started to itch really badly, and I noticed it was swelling. My lips started to swell too, and even my throat felt like it was swelling. Scary. I never had heard about anyone passing away from a jackfruit allergy though, so I decided not to panic. Instead I spent ten minutes trying to locate our benadryl, and took some. Then went and told Sander that I was having an allergic reaction, just in case. I didn't really expect anything severe to happen, but figured better notify him. He glanced up from his World of Warcraft and confirmed that yes, indeed my lips were swollen. When he ascertained I didn't plan to expire from it any time soon, he happily went back to his fantasy world.

I am feeling better already, I am just trying to figure out how the heck I can have an allergic reaction like this to a jackfruit of all things. I mean, I have eaten it once before, and did not have any reaction. That time it was canned though, which can make a difference. Also, I got stung by a bee a few days ago, which bothered me (still bothers me a bit). Just locally, but I wonder whether that maybe kicked my allergy sensitivities into higher gear? Weird!

Now what to do with the rest of the jackfruit. I might try baking / cooking it and take a small experimental bite. I don't really expect a reaction once it has been turned into jackfruit bread, but who knows.

#UPDATE April 15th, 2018: Thanks to many comments and more reading, it seems that a jackfruit allergy can be related to a birch pollen allergy, which I might have (not sure, but my daughter does, so it's not unlikely) or a latex allergy. I haven't had an allergic reaction to jackfruit since my first one, because I have been avoiding it. My first one was plenty scary.


harri saptadi said...

it is 'buah nangka'. $1 each. lol
open it with cooking-oiled knife, then get rid of glutinuous hand-palm with talcum powder.

'nangka's pit is called 'bêton', while 'durian's pit is 'ponggé'.

next time: rambutan/ ace, salak, en manggis! ^_^
have a nice day.

Jody said...

Ah, I have an answer. It is not the first ingestion that causes a reaction. It is the 2nd or 3rd. You have to have first been exposed to the allergen to build up antigens to it. Upon the second try, your body reacts.

Wendy said...

Not only that, subsequent reactions can be significantly worse. I don't know if cooking will make a difference or not

mardrey said...

I'd not eat the jackfruit bread if I were you. I agree with Wendy!Sorry!!

ajay thomas said...

I had exact same reaction you mentioned, maybe much worse with itch felt all the way to stomach and eventual vomiting to the last particle.

I am allergic to apples, strawberry, pollen and I am assuming that my body built up antigens and Jackfruit has the same chemical ingerdients as apples, maybe much more intense. Interestingly I grew up in tropical country eating Jacfruit all the while.

I will avoid Jackfruit, but I think all this should be investigated by medical community. Maybe allergies can be used to trigger useful chemical reactions in the body.

Anonymous said...

Don't eat the jackfruit again..... you may have a worse treaction then your first!

Anonymous said...

I am allergic to jackfruit. I had had eaten it before when I was younger, raw and canned jackfruit but never had any problems. Not until last week, right after I consumed a few pieces my upper lip started to swelling, my throat was ithcing and swollen. I was so scared and confused to why I am having such of symptoms. Took Benadryl. Still deosnt understand to why I am alergic to it.

NannyOgg said...

Interesting feedback. I have been avoiding it since this happened, but it still is weird to me how I suddenly developed this allergy for a fruit I have almost never eaten before.

And ajay, I am allergic to some pollen too, so there might be truth to your theory, but it still is puzzling.

Thanks for all the reactions,


Anonymous said...

After the first piece I felt my throat itchy, then my eyes became red and itchy, then my nose swoll then my throat; I felt the weight of one ton on my shoulders and a severe pain in my stomach and kind of pain in my kidneys. Went to emergency right away and they diagnosed jackfruit allergy. it was the first time I try it fresh; I tried it canned before.

NannyOgg said...

Wow anonymous, glad you are ok. It's amazing how strong a reaction one can have to jackfruit even if you haven't been exposed to the fresh fruit before.

I haven't dared to try canned again yet, luckily it's not very available here in NH anyway.


Anonymous said...

I tired jack fruit recently in Saigon and Hanoi. My first experience was awful. I actually thought I had a piece stuck in my throat. I spent an hour trying to dislodge what was not there. Little did I know that my throat was swollen. A week later I tried a much smaller piece in Hanoi and the same symptoms came about but not as serious because I ate a smaller portion. Horrible experience with the fruit. Will not eat it again!

Amélie said...

I had an allergy too, same symptoms as yours. I read it is a crossed allergy with some pollens, and i'm also allergic to those pollens (birch I think). It makes the same reaction sometimes with apples, hopefully not always since i love them :)

WheresMyAngels said...

I'm just now having an allergic attack from it. Have never heard of it until 1 hours ago when I bought some. On the internet researching now as this is scary. I had to have benedryll crushed to take, first time I have ever done this to a food. Glad to see I'm not alone!!

now hoping I don't die! lol

THMintheUS said...

OH MY LORD. I have had Jackfruit ALL my life (first 21 years)...didn't have any for 10 years, and became allergic to foods over the years living in Oregon.
Just found some, and had a few bites, now, I think I'm going to DIE!
I don't have benedryl, but I had my Alavert! My head was about to explode, throat itched, and mouth swelled /red and my mouth /tongue and all were just hurting!
So much for all that excitement! :(

Kimberly Combs said...

Jackfruit is full of Latex and you can cross react if you have a latex allergy

Karen Lanzetta said...

Thanks all! Jackfruit is more scary than I ever thought it would be. I think I will update this post to talk about the cross reaction with certain pollen and latex, it seems like so many people react.