All our lives Janine and I have lived on a farm in a rural area of Jamaica so ackee trees abound where we are. Right in our backyard there is a big ackee tree which was never planted by anyone. It obviously sprung up from a seed that had fallen there. As a matter of fact it has weathered many a storm. In one instance it was badly damaged while heavily laden with ackees. We even thought it would not survive but survive it did and my family and I have enjoyed our national dish, ackee and salt fish, at different times of the year.
This dish has always been a favourite meal for Janine and me. For many it is a wonderful breakfast but we have enjoyed it for breakfast and lunch. We have it with roast breadfruit, fried breadfruit, boiled bananas and green or ripe plantains. Strangely enough we were never among persons who enjoyed it with rice.
Above is a picture of a few ackees on our tree which has just started to bear again. Ackees should only be picked from trees when the yellow fruit with a black seed is clearly visible in the scarlet pod. There are a variety of ways to prepare it. Most times it is boiled and cooked with seasoning and salt fish. However some persons have even experimented with it by eating it with something other than salt fish. We have enjoyed some of these dishes but ackee and salt fish was always No. 1 for Janine and me and will continue to hold that top spot for me and my family.