Ackee

The ackee, also known as achee, ackee apple or ayee (Blighia sapida) is a fruit, which is the member of the Sapindaceae (soapberry family), as are the lychee and the longan. It is native to tropical West Africa in Cameroon, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. In Yorùbá it is known as í?in.

 

The 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. The common name is derived from the West African Akan akye fufo.

 

The fruit was imported to Jamaica from West Africa before 1778. Since then it has become a major feature of various Caribbean cuisines, and is also cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas elsewhere around the world.

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