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

Francis Akhalbey Jun 22, 2018 at 09:07am

June 22, 2018 at 09:07 am | Foodie Friday

Francis Akhalbey

Francis Akhalbey | Content Manager

June 22, 2018 at 09:07 am | Foodie Friday

Cooked ackee with saltfish and dumplings -- Photo credit:

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

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


  • 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.


  • 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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