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by Francis Akhalbey, at 09:07 am, June 22, 2018, Foodie Friday

Ackee, the irresistibly delicious tropical fruit brought from West Africa to Jamaica in 1778

Cooked ackee with saltfish and dumplings -- Photo credit: greedygirlcooks.blogspot.com

On today’s instalment of #FoodieFriday, we spotlight one of the most popular tropical fruits in the Caribbean, ackee.

Brought from West Africa to Jamaica in 1778, the fruit, which is usually cooked, is a very popular staple meal in some parts of the Caribbean.

Ackee derives its name from its West African Akan name “akye fufo”.

Ackee fruit — Photo Credit: Jerome Walker

Ackee is, in fact, the national fruit of Jamaica. Besides being consumed as food, the fruit also serves several medicinal purposes.

Ripe ackee seeds — Photo Credit: Rik Schuiling / TropCrop

Want to try your hands on this delicacy? If yes, then check out the recipe for ackee and saltfish, Jamaica’s national dish.

Check out the recipe courtesy jamaicantravelandculture.com.

Ingredients (For 4 people)

  • 1/2 lb Saltfish (dried, salted codfish)
  •  12 fresh ackees or 1 (drained) can of tinned ackees
  •  1 medium onion
  •  1/2 tsp black pepper
  •  3 tbsp of butter
  •  1/2 a hot chilli pepper (ideally Scotch Bonnet)
  •  1 sweet pepper
  •  1 chopped tomato
  •  1 sprig fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme

Optional ingredients

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4 Scallion (or spring onions)
  • 6 Slices of bacon

Preparation

  • Cover the saltfish in cold water. Let it soak overnight (minimum 8 hours) changing the water several times (this removes most of the salt).
  • Bring a pan of cold water to the boil and gently simmer the fish for 20 minutes (until the fish is tender).
  • Chop the onion, sweet pepper, chilli pepper and tomato.
  • Remove the fish from the water and allow to cool.
  • Remove all of bones and skin then flake the flesh of the fish.

Cooking

  • Melt the butter in a frying pan and stir-fry the onion, black pepper, sweet pepper, chilli and thyme for about 3 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and flaked fish and stir-fry for another 10 minutes.
  • Add the Ackee and cook until hot throughout. Stir gently to avoid breaking-up the Ackee.
  • Serve with yam, green banana, fried dumplings and Irish potato.

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