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The Collaborative International Dictionary

ackee \ackee\ n. 1. 1 red pear-shaped tropical fruit with poisonous seeds; its flesh is poisonous when unripe or overripe.

Syn: akee


n. (alternative spelling of akee English)


n. red pear-shaped tropical fruit with poisonous seeds; flesh is poisonous when unripe or overripe [syn: akee]


The ackee, also known as achee, ackee apple or akee (Blighia sapida) is a 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.

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 Akanakye fufo.

The fruit was imported to Jamaica from West Africa (probably on a slave ship) 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.

Usage examples of "ackee".

Within an hour, lamplight revealed a plain black iron pot, no different from the dutchies in which Negroes simmered ackee and saltcod.