Ackee and saltfish

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ackee and saltfish
Ackee and saltfish, served with coleslaw
Place of originJamaica
Associated cuisineJamaican
Main ingredientsAckee and salt cod
Ingredients generally usedOnion, Scotch bonnet pepper, tomato, spices

Ackee and saltfish is the Jamaican national dish prepared with ackee and salted codfish.


The ackee fruit (Blighia sapida) is the national fruit of Jamaica.[1] It was brought to the Caribbean from Ghana before 1725 as 'Ackee' or 'Aki' is another name for the Akan people, Akyem. The fruit's 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.[2] Because parts of the fruit are toxic, such as the arils prior to the opening of the husk at the ripening stage, there are shipping restrictions when being imported to countries such as the United States.[3] Salted codfish, on the other hand, was introduced to Jamaica for enslaved people as a long-lasting and inexpensive protein source.[4] In west Africa, ackee is mainly used as medicine or an ingredient for soap and is not consumed as food.[5]


To prepare the dish, salt cod is sautéed with boiled ackee, onions, Scotch bonnet peppers, tomatoes, then seasoned with spices like pepper and paprika.[6] It can be garnished with bacon and tomatoes, and is usually served as breakfast alongside breadfruit, hard dough bread, dumplings, or boiled green bananas.[7][8]

Ackee and saltfish can also be eaten with rice and peas or plain white rice.[9][10] When seasonings (onion, escallion, thyme, garlic) and saltfish are combined with plain rice it is often called "seasoned rice", which can be a one-pot meal including ackee.[11]

In popular culture[edit]

Ackee and saltfish is widely regarded as the national dish of Jamaica.[12][13][14] According to The Guardian, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt often has ackee and saltfish for breakfast.[15] Harry Belafonte's 1956 hit song "Jamaica Farewell" declares, "Ackee rice, saltfish are nice".[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Millicent Taffe (7 March 2013). The Original Ackee and Salt Fish Recipe. Booktango. p. 14. ISBN 978-1-4689-2493-0.
  2. ^ "ACKEE". Archived from the original on 2012-04-24. Retrieved 2013-04-01.
  3. ^ "Import Alert 21-11".
  4. ^ Wilson, Korsha (21 June 2017). "The History of Jamaica Tastes Like Ackee and Saltfish". Vice.
  5. ^ Sainsbury, Brendan. "Ackee and saltfish: Jamaica's breakfast of champions". Retrieved 2023-06-02.
  6. ^ Heather Arndt Anderson (11 July 2013). Breakfast: A History. AltaMira Press. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-7591-2165-2.
  7. ^ James Newton. Jamaican Cookbook - Classic Jamaican Cuisine. Springwood emedia. p. 13. ISBN 978-1-4762-3118-1.
  8. ^ John DeMers (13 March 2012). Authentic Recipes from Jamaica. Tuttle Publishing. p. 66. ISBN 978-1-4629-0536-2.
  9. ^ Rashid, Adnan (18 October 2019). "Take a sneak peek at the exciting new menu at this Burton pub". Derbyshire Live.
  10. ^ Keith Lorren. Caribbean Soul Cookbook. Lulu. p. 24. ISBN 978-1-105-91549-9.
  11. ^ Dr. Milicent J. Coburn (3 November 2017). Treasures of the Tropics. Trafford Publishing. p. 74. ISBN 978-1-4907-8462-5.
  12. ^ Dunne, Daisy. "Interactive: How climate change could threaten the world's traditional dishes". Carbon Brief. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  13. ^ Washington, Bryan (1 July 2019). "Coming Back to Ackee and Saltfish, Jamaica's National Dish". The New Yorker.
  14. ^ "Top 10 National Dishes -- National Geographic". Travel. 2011-09-13. Archived from the original on October 14, 2016. Retrieved 2020-08-08.
  15. ^ Seal, Rebecca (18 April 2015). "Breakfast of champions: Usain Bolt's ackee and saltfish". The Guardian.
  16. ^ Harry Belafonte – Jamaica Farewell, retrieved 2021-10-19