Ackee and saltfish

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Ackee and saltfish, served with coleslaw

Ackee and saltfish is a traditional Caribbean dish.

The ackee fruit was imported to The Caribbean from Ghana before 1725, as Ackee or Aki is another name for the Akan tribe, Akyem. It is also known as Blighia sapida. The scientific name honours Captain William Bligh who took the fruit from Jamaica to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England in 1793 and introduced it to science.[1] Because parts of the fruit are toxic, there are shipping restrictions when being imported to countries such as the United States.[2]

To prepare the dish, salt cod (salt fish should be soaked overnight to eliminate most of the salt) is sautéed with boiled ackee, onions, Scotch Bonnet peppers (optional), tomatoes, and spices, such as black pepper and pimiento. It can be garnished with bacon and tomatoes, and 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. When seasonings (onion, escallion, thyme, garlic) and saltfish are combined with plain rice it is often called seasoned rice which is a one pot meal that is usually eaten on Fridays as an inexpensive meal for dinner.

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