One of the best parts of traveling is discovering new food. Read about our latest discovery in Jamaica, Ackee and Saltfish.

On our anniversary trip to Round Hill Resort in Montego Bay Jamaica I noticed an odd fruit tree in the backyard of our cottage. I asked our housekeeper, Joy, about it and she explained it was an Ackee tree. Ackee is Jamaica’s national fruit and is used to create the national dish, Ackee and saltfish. Joy used to eat the edible part of the fruit raw right off the tree when she was a kid. She graciously offered to make Ackee and saltfish for breakfast the next morning. It was great!

Ackee tree Jamaica

 

Ackee’s scientific name is Blighia sapida, in honor of Captain William Bligh who took the fruit from Jamaica to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England in 1793 and introduced it to science. The fruit is native to West Africa and was imported to the Caribbean sometime in the early 1700s.

Nothing beats fresh, right-off-the-tree Ackee, but it is very difficult to get it fresh, unless you live in Jamaica, the Caribbean, or West Africa. Here is a link to a store where you can buy canned Ackee. If you would like to try to make Ackee and saltfish, here’s a recipe and video.