Akee - rare fruit tree, hard to find National fruit... more
Akee tree, Blighia sapida
Akee - rare fruit tree, hard to find National fruit of Jamaica. Delicious when fried! This showy fruit is a close relative of Lychee, Longan, and Rambutan. The tree is easy in cultivation, fast growing and can be maintained compact. I it is not bugsy or picky about soil/water conditions, and is relatively cold tolerant for being a tropical tree. You can find delicious akee meals only in Jamaican restaurants. But no need to search for it - grow your own tree, it can't be easier. It will start fruiting for you the next season, you don't have to wait long. Sometimes it fruits twice a year! However remember, the fruit is used as a vegetable, and is not eaten raw. It must be picked AT THE RIGHT TIME after the fruit has opened naturally so the flesh is fully exposed to light, otherwise it is poisonous. When the fruit has "yawned", discard the seeds (or better plant them to grow more trees - to share with your friends!). The arils, while still fresh and firm, are best parboiled in salted water or milk and then lightly fried in butter. Then they are really delicious. Just add Bacon to complete your meal! Somewhat cold-hardy once established. See Article about this plant.