Ackees

Ackees

I had always wondered about this little green balls of fruit that are normally sold at the side of roads, usually at the roundabout.  At the roundabout exit, there are often men waving bunches of these green fruits for sale.  Not the best of places to sell goods, but then again the same can be said for the pedestrian crossings, faintly marked in the same places.

With no prices ever displayed and the suspicion that as soon as I open my mouth and announce my English accent that the prices will double, I had refrained from trying this fruit.

ackees

We were invited to a après News Year’s Eve celebration with one of my husband’s work colleagues and much to my delight we were offered these mysterious green balls of fruit which are called Ackees.

I looked into these little green balls and it transpires that they are also known as Gineps.  There is another ackee from Jamaica that is black in colour which is entirely different.   That explained another question I had at the vegetable market a few weeks ago though.  I had heard of ackees when I lived in London but did never associate them with the green fruit I saw sold at the roundabouts, but the tinned black fruit I’d see in various supermarkets.    Ah, the joy of multi-cultural London.  Everything you want in one tiny store on the corner!

Friendly Ackee selling at Oistins. Thankfully not on a roundabout!

You eat these green Barbados ackees by peeling off the hard exterior and sucking off the flesh from a large stone.  To me, the taste is similar to lychee and is delicious.  They are very sweet and since there is not a lot of flesh on the fruit you are furiously unpeeling the next one as you are currently sucking the fruit off the one in your mouth like a turbo charged Dyson hoover.   Just like spaghetti, it’s not a fruit for a first date!

The next time you see these being sold, try a bunch!

 

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Angela Coleby

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