Tropical West Africa
COMMON NAME IN THE CAYMAN ISLANDS:
OTHER NAMES IN THE WORLD:
Achee, ackee apple, ayee, akye fufo, ankye
The pear-shaped fruit turns from green to red or yellow-orange when it ripens. Upon full ripening, ackee splits open to reveal three large,shiny black seeds surrounded by white-to-yellow flesh called arils, which resembles
The arils, which is the only edible part of the fruit, is soft and creamy when cooked and has a texture of scrambled eggs.
Mild, buttery and slightly bitter
Ackee is a good source of niacin, vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus and calcium. It is rich in fibre and high in healthy fat.
HOW TO CONSUME:
Although some people eat it raw in small amounts, it is recommended that ackee be parboiled or washed and cooked. In ackee and saltfish, which is considered Jamaica’s national dish, the ackee is sauteed with peppers, onions and dried saltfish that has been rehydrated. Ackee can also be used in stews and curries or sauteed as a vegetable-like side dish. When cooked, ackee turns from cream-coloured to bright yellow.
Ackee flesh is poisonous, but once the fruit is fully ripe and the skin splits open naturally on the tree, the poison is reduced to safe levels. Parboiling or soaking and then discarding the water removes residual toxins.
Fresh ackee is not generally carried in the supermarkets, but is often available at Grand Cayman’s farmers markets from select vendors, often with the arils remove from inside the skin, but with the seeds still encased. Ackee is also sold in cans, usually produced in Jamaica. Ackee freezes relatively well.
The Blighia part of Blighia sapida refers to Captain William Bligh of “Mutiny on the Bounty” fame. It was Bligh who, in 1793, brought the fruit from Jamaica to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England,
where it was first catalogued scientifically.