Ackee and saltfish is Jamaica’s national dish and a breakfast staple. The Ackee fruit is an African native crop introduced to the Caribbean by British slave traders. Its name is derived from the West African Akye fufo.
It is not popularly eaten in Africa. Immature fruits are used to make soap; the wood from the tree is termite resistant and used for building; extracts from the poisonous seeds treat parasites and are sometimes used as a fish poison. Topical ointment made from crushed ackee leaves is applied to the skin to treat headaches and ulcers. And the ackee leaves are also good as a fodder for goats.
Ackee is very nutritious, high in fatty acids and rich in protein, potassium, iron, and Vitamin C. The fruit grows in red pods and is not entirely edible. Only the yellow arils—a fleshy appendage to each of the three large black seeds in the pod—can be eaten.
In tropical West Africa, increased awareness of the safe preparation and nutritious value of the ackee arils could support food security and rural incomes. After centuries abroad, the ackee crop could once again flourish in its native grounds!
The camel trek at Prospect Plantation in St. Mary has got to be Jamaica’s most unlikely activities. Apparently the British brought camels to Jamaica in the 18th century to work the sugar plantations. But they swiftly died out due to overwork and improper care. Prospect’s gentle dromedaries, which are imported from the U.S., perform far less rigorous work, transporting people on leisurely rides through the working estate.
Its exhilerating . To think that you are in the Caribbean bundled with sun, sand and sea and now you can cater to your exotic fantasy of a Camel ride makes your vacation euphoric. Only offered at Prospect, the camel ride takes visitors across the lush landscape dressed with myriad of fruit trees and undulating small hills.
My ride on a camel was tricky at best and frightening at worse. The hump is not a comfortable place to sit, especially for a Western gentleman not dressed for the ride. The rise of the camel rocked you like an earthquake under your feet, forcing you to hold tight to prevent a fall. And when the camel is upright on all fours, the sight below is similar to looking down the Eifel or the Emprie State. But hanging on to dear life was not an option for me. It was necessary, it was my security, it was my reassurance of an unexpected experience for a boy from Jamaica. And the Sahara was a welcoming reminder that if I fall, it would be pure cushion. I will never forget that experience.
Take that experience to an island in the Caribbean.
Jamaica is full of the unexpected and the essence of a great vacation is to experience the unexpected. The Prospect camel ride is one such thrill every curious visitor should not only seek, but ensure that on their bucket list they can mark off under Jamaica – had a thrilling walk up the Falls, amazing Negril sunset, delicious jerk and thirst quenching Red Stripe and oh yes a camel ride in the hills of St. Ann and What a ride that was !
The Great House was the seat of authority on an estate. It was the home of planters, or attorneys who acted for the absentee owner. The size and profitability of the property and the wealth of the owner determined the size of the house.
Rose Hall is a Georgian mansion in Montego Bay, Jamaica, noted for the legend of the White Witch of Rose Hall. The estate, and the adjoining plantation “Palmyra”, was passed down to John Rose Palmer from his great uncle. Rose-Hall estate had about 650 acres.
Edinburgh Castle, an estate and now ruined great house in St Ann, was built by Jamaica’s earliest recorded serial killer, Lewis Hutchinson, a Scottish immigrant to Jamaica and, the first recorded serial killer and most prolific.
Halse Hall is a plantation great house in Clarendon, In 1655, following the English capture of Jamaica the site was given to Major Thomas Halse who came fom Barbados. He raised hogs, grazed cattle and built Halse Hall. In 1969 it was purchased by Alcoa Minerals of Jamaica. It is the oldest English building in Jamaica which is still used as a residence (pictured second).
Potosi is a former sugar estate in Trelawny, Jamaica, named after a fabled Bolivian silver mine. In 1836 there were 224 enslaved Africans on the estate, and owner John Tharp received £4,494 17s 8d compensation when they were emancipated.
Roxborough is a former estate and now a small community south of Mandeville in Manchester, Jamaica. It was the birthplace of Jamaican National Hero and politician Norman Washington Manley. The estate was originally called “Roxbro Castle”. Over the years the great house became derelict until it was destroyed by fire in 1968. The building was recently restored by the Jamaica Tourist Board.