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Ackee – Discovering A Unique Ghanaian Fruit That Is Surrounded By A Myth

Like many fruits in the world Ackee fruit which is pear shaped and has a tint of red and orange has a story behind it. In Ghana it is a taboo to eat it and that it is food for the spirits.

With its scientific name Blighia sapida, is a fruit of the Sapindaceae soapberry family. It is native to tropical West Africa in Cameroon, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

Its English common name ACKEE is derived from the original name ANKYE FUFO, in the Akan language of the Asantes in Ghana.

It is classified as one of the most poisonous fruits with potential fatalities, in the world amongst many others.

It grows in the rainy season between the months of April and May into August.

Meanwhile it is a national fruit of Jamaicans and considered one of the country’s best delicacies, and most West African countries make it a household meal. However, in Ghana it has gone unnoticed.

IMPORTATION

The Ackee fruit was imported to the Caribbean from Ghana before 1725 from the land of the Akyem tribe in Ghana.

TO EAT, PLUCK WHEN VERY RIPE [TO AVOID BEING POISONED]

Ackee can be eaten when fully ripe and can even be eaten raw without any harm. The taste is that of milk and coconut.

NOT POISONOUS WHEN PROCESSED RIGHT

Ackee fruit can be made into a great dish when it is cooked right under the right temperature. You do not want it going all soft. It can be eaten with beans or rice and an accompaniment. It also it has different flavors when cooked.

NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS

It is high in potassium, magnesium, calcium and sodium and also rich in Fiber. It can help regulate bowel purging and help reduce bad cholesterol levels which helps boost the heart health.

By Gifty Amoateng

Source: African Post Magazine

Classic Ghana

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