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Tropical Flavor Experience: What Does Ackee Taste Like?

The earth produces numerous fruits, both edible and poisonous.

Some fruits grow worldwide, while some grow only in a few locations.

It’s likely that like us, you have never tasted many of these fruits and have not even heard of them.

What about Ackee? Have you seen or tasted it ever? We’re just as curious as you are, so if you want to know what does Ackee taste like, there is no need to search further.

Below we’ll try to mention the vital aspects of Ackee.

So keep reading to learn about Ackee’s taste and how to use it in cooking.

What is Ackee?

Technically speaking, Ackee is a fruit but cooked and used as a vegetable.

It’s indigenous to West Africa but also grows in Jamaica.

The Ackee arrived in the country in the 18th century and has become a part of Jamaica’s culture since then.

Ackee is a delicacy and also the national fruit of Jamaica.

The fruit is incorporated into different Caribbean dishes.

Jamaica is the only country that uses Ackee in cooking, but the natives in West African countries also eat it uncooked when the fruit is ripe.

Eating the fruit when it’s fully ripe is safe, but unripe ones can be toxic and mustn’t be consumed.

The fruit opens up as it ripens, and the phenomenon is called “smiling”.

You have to wait till the fruit fully smiles.

Besides Jamaica and West Africa, it also grows in Belize, Haiti, and India but is not as extensive as the first two regions.

What Does Ackee Taste Like?

Ackee may not be the most popular fruit in the world, but it doesn’t lack in flavors.

That’s why it’s held in so much reverence in Jamaica.

It’s edible and delicious, cooked or uncooked, so it’s versatile.

It’s a relative of lychee fruit, but the two don’t taste similar.

Lychee is sweet, juicy, aromatic and musky with citrusy notes, while Ackee is nutty and may taste like cream cheese or butter.

Ackee has around 48 cultivars, and they’re placed under the butter or cheese categories.

It has a bittersweet note but tastes more like a veggie than a fruit.

When cut and cooked, Ackee looks and tastes like scrambled eggs with a hint of yellow.

Its flavor makes it suitable for cooking savory dishes.

Ackee has skin that turns pink to red when ripe, has yellow arils, and has black seeds.

Of these three, only arils are used in cooking.

You must remove the seeds and peel them thoroughly before cooking for safety.

The arils of the fruit-veggie have a delicate flavor and can absorb different flavorings.

If you have never tried cooking the fruit as a veggie, it’ll be a good idea to follow recipes for the best results.

While it’s easy to cook, you must never consume unripe ackee fruit, as stated earlier, because it contains harmful substances.

How to Use Ackee?

Earlier, we learned that some natives in West Africa consume Ackee when ripe but uncooked.

Jamaica is the one place where Ackee is a primary ingredient in cooking.

However, curious food enthusiasts also make and enjoy dishes that incorporate Ackee.

Jamaican cuisine has several dishes, which include Ackee.

Of these, Ackee with saltfish is the most popular as it’s also the Jamaican national dish.

It’s a delicious dish and pairs nicely with various foods.

The main ingredients for the dish include.

  • Ackee (canned).
  • Saltfish.
  • Onions.
  • Tomato.
  • Bell pepper.
  • Scallions.
  • Sprig thyme.
  • Scotch bonnet pepper.
  • Black pepper .
  • Cooking oil.

The quantity of ingredients depends on the size, weight, and amount of the dish as a whole.

For example, if you use two cans of Ackee and 1 pound of saltfish, you’ll need ½ teaspoon of black pepper and two tablespoons of cooking oil.

If you add more fish and Ackee, the amount of each item will also increase.

Various fish types are salted, but salted cod is the most widely used variety for this dish.

  • Let the salted fish sit in cold water for at least two hours, then drain the water.
  • Place the fish in a saucepan and boil it in fresh water on medium heat for fifteen minutes.
  • Remove from the stove, drain the hot water, and rinse the fish with cold water or let it cool down.
  • Separate fish meat from its skin and bones and flake it. .
  • Heat oil in a pan/skillet, add chopped onions and remaining ingredients (except black pepper, fish, and Ackee), and fry for three minutes.
  • Add the fish and cook for about three minutes more.
  • Add the fruit pulp, reduce the heat and let simmer for about ten to fifteen minutes.
  • Sprinkle black pepper, remove from heat, and serve.

You can enjoy the dish with.

  • Fried dumplings.
  • Roasted or fried breadfruit.
  • Pumpkin rice.
  • Coconut rice.
  • Fried plantain.
  • Boiled green bananas.


Ackee may not be currently available in your location.

But now you know what it tastes like, so if you ever grab hold of them, you can make the dish and enjoy it with all the yummy side dishes.

But remember to use only ripe fruit or it can be dangerous.

You must remove the seeds and skin entirely and use only the pulp or arils.

That way, the fruit will be safe and delicious at the same time.

What Does Ackee Taste Like? Does it Taste Good?

Venture into Jamaican cuisine with ackee, the national fruit of Jamaica. Explore its unique buttery and nutty flavor, often compared to scrambled eggs, when cooked. Determine if ackee is a delicious addition to your culinary repertoire.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Food Taste
Servings 1 Serving


  • Ackee
  • Ingredients from your favorite recipes


  • Depending on the ingredients used, the cooking method, and the type of dish, the taste of the food can vary greatly.
  • Make sure to select a recipe that will elevate the food’s original flavor, and enjoy experimenting with different recipes!
Keyword What Does Ackee Taste Like
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Recipe Rating

  1. Sebastian Garcia says:

    This article provided a comprehensive analysis of a topic that is highly relevant in today’s world. The author’s ability to navigate complex issues and present them in a clear and concise manner is truly commendable. Looking forward to more thought-provoking content.5 stars