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Ackee, akee, achee


Name: Ackee, Akee, or Achee (Blighia sapida). Also known as vegetable brains. (Kinda like some people we may have worked with). (Tropical Fruit)

The scientific name comes from Akee's association with Captain William Bligh, of the H.M.S. Bounty ('Mutiny on the Bounty'), who is thought to have  carried the fruit from tropical West Africa (possibly Guinea) to the Caribbean Islands, and specifically to Jamaica in 1793. Since then, it has become a major  feature of various Caribbean cuisines, and is widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas around the world.


A member of the Sapindaceae (soapberry family) Ackee, Akee, or Achee (Blighia  sapida) is a relative of the litchi (lychee) and the longan. Akee is a tropical evergreen tree that grows about 30 feet tall, with leathery leaves and fragrant  white flowers. Its fruit is pear shaped, bright red to yellow-orange, and when  ripe, splits open to reveal three large, shiny black seeds, surrounded by soft, creamy or spongy, white to yellow flesh.


The fruit of the Akee is NOT edible. It is ONLY the fleshy arils around the seeds that are edible. The remainder of the fruit, including the seeds are  POISONOUS. The fruit MUST only be picked after the fruit has opened naturally, and must be fresh and not overripe. Immature and overripe ackee are also POISONOUS!

The soft, edible arils are delicate in flavor, and taste and look similar to scrambled eggs.

Canned ackee is sometimes available, but has been subject to import restrictions due to safety concerns.

Salt Cod and Akee is the national dish of Jamaica. Salt cod is sautéed with  ackee, pork fat, onions, peppers, tomatoes, herbs, garnished with crisp bacon and fresh tomatoes.

Food Value Per 100 g of Raw Akee Arils

    Moisture 57.60 g
    Protein 8.75 g
    Fat 18.78 g
    Fiber 3.45 g
    Carbohydrates 9.55 g
    Ash 1.87 g
    Calcium 83 mg
    Phosphorus 98 mg
    Iron 5.52 mg
    Thiamine 0.10 mg
    Riboflavin 0.18 mg
    Niacin 3.74 mg
    Ascorbic Acid 65 mg


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