The ackee fruit (Blighia sapida) is the national fruit of Jamaica. It was imported to the Caribbean from Ghana before 1725 as 'Ackee' or 'Aki' is another name for the Akan people, Akyem. The fruit's 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. Because parts of the fruit are toxic, such as the arils prior to the opening of the husk at the ripening stage, there are shipping restrictions when being imported to countries such as the United States. Salted codfish, on the other hand, was introduced to Jamaica for enslaved people as a long-lasting and inexpensive protein source.
To prepare the dish, salt cod is sautéed with boiled ackee, onions, Scotch bonnet peppers, tomatoes, then seasoned with spices like pepper and paprika. It can be garnished with bacon and tomatoes, and is usually served as breakfast alongside breadfruit, hard dough bread, dumplings, or boiled green bananas.
Ackee and saltfish can also be eaten with rice and peas or plain white rice. When seasonings (onion, escallion, thyme, garlic) and saltfish are combined with plain rice it is often called "seasoned rice", which can be a one-pot meal including ackee.