A few days ago I got the opportunity to have an early dinner at the (as far as I know only) Jamaican restaurant in Stockholm: Back a yard. The restaurant is run by a man called Papa Bull and his family. I sneaked my head into the kitchen to get some tips on perfecting my rice and peas (apparently parboiled rice works best, explains some mushiness issues) and ital cooking in general. He said that he doesn’t use pretty much any salt, instead let the seasoning (garlic, thyme, scallion, hot pepper) give taste. I also noted that there weren’t any salt on the tables.The atmosphere in the place is just like back a yard- in Jamaica; nice food, reggae music and people chatting patois. Here is a little interview with Papa Bull I found online (in swedish).
They serve the typical Jamaican dishes like curry goat, jerk chicken and rice and peas, but there are also few vegetarian alternatives: Ital stew and ackee with lima beans. My plate of food looked like this:
Mashed potatoes, rice and peas, fried plantain, fried dumpling, coleslaw and ackee and saltfish.
For the first time in about 5 months I got enjoy some ackee. Now that’s what I call a happy meal! I have ackee at least once a day while in Jamaica because I love it so much, and I know I can’t get it back home (just the tinned one). Ackee is Jamaica’s national fruit, native to west africa but mostly eaten in Jamaica. It’s not like anything you have tasted before.
If I were to try to describe it the texture is a little like a mix between corn and avocado. It’s a funny looking fruit and it can be poisonous if not prepared correctly. I had it both cooked and raw (despite warnings not to eat it uncooked). In raw food preparation it’s a blessing, kind of like avocado; it gives creaminess and interesting texture like nothing else. Imagine ackee butter on top of a raw pizza crust with tomatosauce..mmm It could also make great for a vegan “scrambled ” since the texture of cooked ackee is similar to scrambled eggs. Way superior taste though AND it’s vegan.Besides being yummy ackee has high nutritional value and is rich in essential fatty acids, vitamin A, zinc and protein. If you get the chance have some.