Ackee and salted fish : Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica and together with salted fish they are part of the typical dish. The ackee tree grows in various places in the world where it has many inedible uses, except for Jamaica.
[ hide ]
- 1 Story
- 2 Preparation
- 3 Note
- 4 Ingredients for ackee and salted fish
- 5 Sources
Ackee trees have their origin in West Africa in the 1700s. Their botanical name is Blighia sapida; It is named after Captain William Bligh who introduced this strange plant to England in the 18th century. The ackee fruit is not fully edible because the green fruit contains toxins. The outer skin of an ackee begins as a greenish-yellow color and turns red when it matures. When it matures, the ackee breaks and naturally opens at the same time on the tree. Within this rare fruit are three large shiny black seeds, each surrounded by a creamy yellow. The fleshy arils are the only part of the fruit that can be eaten.
Once ripe, the shiny, large seeds are discarded along with the outside of the ackee. The remaining gold arils are carefully cleaned, boiled and properly cooked. In Jamaica this is one of the favorite dishes for Sunday breakfast, it is often served on toast and they look quite similar to scrambled eggs.
If eaten before it matures, ackee can be poisonous, as it contains hypoglycine A and B, which can cause what is known as “Jamaican vomiting” disease, a type of severe hypoglycemia that causes vomiting and seizures. However, Jamaicans know how to properly harvest and prepare ackee. It also contains a large amount of protein, unsaturated fats, and is rich in essential fatty acids such as zinc and vitamin A.
If you can’t travel to Jamaica to enjoy this delicacy, canned ackee is one of Jamaica’s top exports, and remains popular in the US, Canada, and the UK, where there are large Jamaican communities. Today, Jamaica competes with Mexico, Costa Rica, Florida, and other Caribbean islands that have recognized the nutritional value of the fruit, as well as its assembly value as an export product.
- Boil the fish in water for 20 minutes to remove some of the salt. Drain and cut or break into small pieces.
- Clean the ackees thoroughly. Remove the seeds and all traces of red fiber inside. Wash them five times under running water.
- Put the ackees in a deep saucepan with hot water, cover and simmer until moderately soft. Drain, cover and set aside (Or you can use 1 can of drained ackees, instead of fresh fruit).
- Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add onion, thyme, Scotch Bonnet pepper, and red bell peppers. Stir for a few minutes.
- Add the fish. Stir. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the drained ackees. Do not stir, as this will cause the acke to break.
- Cook for a few more minutes and then sprinkle with black pepper.
- Pour into a serving plate and garnish with a few slices of onion and pepper. Serve with the * boiled banana and / or fried dumplings.
- Ackee has great medicinal properties: it is used as an antiparasitic, to combat dysentery, ophthalmic conjunctivitis and headaches, all of which make it an essential part of the Jamaican family basket. The fruit also contains protein, calcium, iron, vitamins A, B, and C, and other nutrients.
Ingredients for ackee and salted fish
- 1/2 pound salted fish (boneless)
- 1 dozen ackees (or 1 can)
- 1 small onion
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 3 slices of hot Scotch Bonnet pepper
- 1 small red pepper