Saltfish and Ackee

DamnAckeeMy book about international breakfasts is underway, and has been for quite a while. Lately, I’ve been giving it a bit more attention, attention it deserves. The photo to the left is evidence of my attention. I recently stumbled across this can of ackee, which I had believed was illegal in the U.S., due to its poisonous properties if the fruit is improperly picked and prepared. But, no, it is not illegal, provided one of ten companies approved by the FDA produces it. My can was produced by one of them; I breathed a sigh of relief.

My intent is to make a Jamaican “National Dish,” saltfish and ackee. Saltfish is dried cod. You buy fish that has been laden with salt and dried. You can use boneless cod or or you can buy it with bones and remove them after re-hydrating the fish. I would rather the former, but the only saltfish I could find is full of bones. So, I’ll soak it in water overnight, remove the bones, and prepare the recipe according to one of several recipes I’ve collected, including one such recipe on this can of Linstead Market Jamaica Ackee.

From what I gather, the real star of the show is the ackee, which as I said can be poisonous. The fruit is native to West Africa but is now considered Jamaica’s national fruit.  My plan is to make the dish next Tuesday morning. My wife and her sister and I will then enjoy it (I hope) and I will take a photo or two (or more) I can use in my book. I will, of course, make notes about the experience here on my blog.


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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