Sunday, November 26, 2006
The Jamaican Ackee is the National fruit of Jamaica. Originally it was brought from Slave ships from West Africa. When an ackee is ripe, it turns red and splits open, exposing the seeds inside and the fleshy, delicately flavoured aril - the edible segment. The aril has an appearance and texture of rather like scrambled egg. It's often eaten with cod fish, sautéed over a hot stove with butter, onion and sweet peppers. If you take precautions when selecting and cooking your fruit it can make a safe and tasty dish.
This can become however a lethal weapon if not cooked or picked properly. An ackee which is not fully ripe or is past it's best picking time on the tree can be extremely poisonous. Eating an ackee at the wrong stage of development can cause sickness or even death.
Recently several deaths have led to a ban on exporting Ackee from Jamaica. I want to feel that the people just did not know how to cook it properly or it was picked too soon. Whatever the reason, living overseas and not having access to Ackee is something I miss. What is Saltfish without deh Ackee mon?....you tell me.