Ackee & Saltfish.....
By Alecia James
That's our National dish! Can someone say savory and delicious? On occasion when I feel like rekindling my love for my Jamican food, I whip up one of our most popular and enjoyable dishes: ackee & salt-fish. Not having access to the fresh fruit doesn't hinder me from engaging in culinary delight. I'm salivating as I write this post and I'm far gone into the cephalic phase of digestion.
My tastebuds were activated into high drive when I saw the "Linstead Market" ackee on the shelf at Stop & Shop. I dreamt of culinary heaven. Boy, was I going to indulge in some mouth-watering fare. When I saw canned breadfruit strategically placed next to the ackee, I rejoiced even more. It was down to business for me.
Steps for preparing ackee and saltfish/codfish
The good thing about canned ackee is that it is precooked so you only need to scald in hot water for a few minutes.
In the same oil, saute chopped onions, tomato and bell pepper.
There you have it. Eat and reminisce on the delicious cuisine of beautiful Jamaica.
Above is an excerpt from a Jamaican folk song about a mother who goes to Linstead Market to sell her ackee but she was unsuccessful. The full lyrics suggest that she will have a difficult time feeding her children since she made no money that day. It is the story of life, the story of struggle and a fight for survival. And a picture of a Jamaican woman. Some aspects of this song are deeply nostalgic as I remember my late grandmother who went to market every Saturday morning to sell her fruits and vegetables (most of which she planted and reaped with her own hands), so she could feed her family.
Pictured on the label below is the image of a beautiful black woman who smiles because she is strong, proud, independent, and industrious. She effortlessly balances a basket of fruits on her head perhaps to sell or to ensure that her family is fed with nutritious and wholesome fare. So you see why it was hard for me to pass by this particular brand of ackee. There are many brands on the market but when something is able to powerfully impart cultural and meaningful connections like this, it's an easy win.
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