Artocarpus lacucha

Artocarpus lacucha – The Monkey Fruit

Artocarpus lacucha is a breadfruit species in the family Moraceae (the mulberry trees). It is native to the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia. In Vietnam, it occurs in some central provinces.

Artocarpus lacucha fruits
Artocarpus lacucha fruits
  • Family: Moraceae
  • Genus: Artocarpus
  • Species: Artocarpus lacucha
  • Synonyms: Artocarpus ficifolius W.T.Wang, Artocarpus lakoocha Roxb., Artocarpus yunnanensis H.H.Hu, Saccus lakoocha (Roxb.) Kuntze
  • English name: monkey fruit, monkey-jack
  • Vietnamese name: chay, chay Chiêm, chay lá to
Artocarpus lacucha
Artocarpus lacucha with yellow flesh

CONFUSION WITH Artocarpus tonkinensis

In Vietnamese, Artocarpus lacucha is called chay, however the name chay is also applied to another Artocarpus species named Artocarpus tonkinensis. The Artocarpus lacucha fruits have irregular shape and yellow flesh, but the Artocarpus tonkinensis ones are rounder and have pink flesh.

Artocarpus lacucha and Artocarpus tonkinensis
Artocarpus lacucha (LEFT) and Artocarpus tonkinensis (RIGHT)

CULINARY USES

The fruits of Artocarpus lacucha are consumed in a similar way with those of Artocarpus tonkinensis. They taste sour and become a source of acidity in cooking.

Harvesting monkey fruits in Quang Ngai province
Harvesting monkey fruits (Artocarpus lacucha ) in Quảng Ngãi province

They can be eaten as a rustic snack, or used as an ingredient in Vietnamese sour soup.

Fish Sour Soup with Monkey Fruit
Fish Sour Soup with Monkey Fruit

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