It is usually served as breakfast or dinner alongside breadfruit, hard dough bread, dumplings, fried plantain, or boiled green bananas. Ackee and Saltfish can also be eaten with rice and peas or plain white rice.
The fiber contained in ackee can aid in bowel elimination as it adds bulk to faeces. The fibre may also reduce cholesterol levels and aids in lowering the risks of inflammation, cramping, constipation and bloating of the colon. Finally, ackee provides a boost to the immune system.
So what does ackee taste like? It’s completely unique. The fruit has a buttery, creamy texture and a mild taste that reminded me of hearts of palm. The saltfish in the dish plays off the mild fruit nicely, adding a saline tang.
Legendary in Jamaica and mostly used together with salt fish to make a delectable breakfast dish. In fact, it is said to be Jamaica’s National Dish. Although not indigenous to Jamaica, Ackee is grown throughout Jamaica.
Why it’s banned : Unripe and inedible portions of ackee are poisonous and can cause “Jamaican vomiting sickness,” reports The Science Creative Quarterly. The symptoms of the fruit-induced illness include severe vomiting, dehydration, seizures, and comas.
The short answer is yes, canned ackee is safe to eat. The same precautions that you would take for any type of canned food in regard to deep dents and bulging cans apply here. A few times over its export history there have been bans on the importation of ackee particularly in the US.
If improperly eaten, though, ackee can cause what has been dubbed the Jamaican Vomiting Sickness — which, other than the self-explanatory symptoms, can lead to coma or death.
You see, there’s this thing called Jamaican vomiting sickness (JVS), and it’s pretty self explanatory. The illness starts within 2-12 hours of consuming unripe ackee , or its pods or seeds. Symptoms include vomitting, loss of consciousness, and seizures. Without immediate supportive care, death can result.
Ackee is a safe food to eat if prepared properly, and is good for you. “ Ackee is an unsaturated fat, and has additional health benefits through its high protein content, being a good source of vitamins B and C, zinc, calcium and fibre,” reports the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Dangers. When consumed fresh, fully ripened ackee is perfectly safe. Can you eat raw ackee , and what happens if you eat raw ackee ? The unripe fruit contains high amounts of hypoglycin A and B, two toxins that can cause a range of severe symptoms, including low blood sugar, vomiting, weakness and even coma or death.
Canned ackee is expensive due to the restrictions put on it by the USDA and FDA. This probably has something to do with it being a fruit that is cooked like it is a vegetable. If you live near where west indians reside you may be able to find them cheaper but never less than $5 a can, in the fruit and vegetable market.
The aril is edible when fully mature but highly toxic when immature while the seeds are known to be poisonous . Ackee fruit toxicity has been known since the nineteenth century and popularly called “Jamaican vomiting sickness” because of the characteristic severe bouts of vomiting.
Technically, it’s a fruit, but it’s cooked and used as a vegetable. In fact, it’s the national fruit of Jamaica and plays a starring role in the country’s national dish : ackee and saltfish .
The Meaning in the Name The botanical name of the fruit – Blighia Sapida – was given in honour of Captain William Bligh of “Mutiny on the Bounty” fame, who in 1793 took plants of the fruit from Jamaica to England. Captain Bligh also brought the first breadfruit to Jamaica . Before this, the ackee was unknown to science.