Jamaican Ackee berries, native to West Africa, look very colorful and delicious, but looks can fool you if you do not know how to eat you can die within 24 hours.
The ripe ackee has turned red yellow and opened on its own but if you are not wise enough to open an unripe fruit and taste it inside, you will quickly become a victim of Jamaican vomiting, technically known as hypoglycin poisoning. You can die within a day.
Ackee is a strange fruit.
But despite all this, Jamaicans love the ripe yellow flesh of the Ackee fruit, and it’s an ingredient in their national, national cuisine.
Ackee is a pear-shaped fruit found in warm climates. When the ackee ripens, it changes from green to magenta to orange and separates to reveal three large shiny black seeds, each surrounded by soft, white to yellow flesh.
This fruit was imported to Jamaica from East Africa before 1725. Today, ackee fruit is canned and is one of the main export items of Jamaica.
The national dish of Jamaica is made from ackee berries.
To make the dish, salted cod was fried with boiled ackee berries, onions, Scotch Bonnet peppers, tomatoes and spices. It is often served as breakfast or dinner with bread, hard dough bread, dumplings, fried bananas, or boiled green bananas. Ackee and cod can also be eaten with rice and peas or white rice. If you come to Jamaica without trying this national and quintessential dish, you like you have never been to Jamaica.