LERNing All About Ackee


Kidding, kidding, Ackee is actually the national fruit of Jamaica, native to Africa, and a distant relative of the lychee fruit.

I first learned about Ackee because Ackee and saltfish is a really common dish in Jamaica and can be found ubiquitously around the island (as opposed to other, seasonal foods).

Fortunately, we have six trees in our yard, and they are all bearing right now!

These Ackee are ripe for the picking; see below.

Ripe Ackee before it has been prepared for consumption.

The thing about Ackee is that it's preparation is paramount to it's ability to be consumed. I've been told you can eat it raw, but only in small quantities; rather, you're better off boiling the Ackee before consuming it.

This involves a process of removing all pink parts of the fruit from the yellow inside fruits, and removing the black seed as well.

As you can see, any trace of pink has been removed from the inside.

Coincidentally or not, as it were, I find this fruit looks rather similar to a vagina. This didn't come as a surprise to me as so many plants in nature seem to resemble sexual anatomy.

To de-seed the fruit at this stage, hold it in the palm of your hand and gently push the black seed forward in the direction of what would be the clitoris if we were talking about a vagina. The seed should pop right off with any remaining pink bits as well.

Ackee dip, but you might mistake it for spicy cheese dip, vegan style.

After I boiled my Ackee, I put it in a blender with some cashews, yeast flakes, spices, boiled potato, onion, carrot, and garlic, (and the liquid stock), and lemon juice and this "vegan cheese dip with an Ackee base" or Ackee dip that tastes cheesy was the result.

I also used it to top home made potato wedges.

Ackee is quite rich in vitamin C, magnesium, and copper, but comes in at a whopping 15 g of fat per 100 g of the fruit. So, just like avocadoes, which are delicious, but also quite rich in fat, eat sparingly, and enjoy!

Hope you have a splendid day communing with some plants and in nature.

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