Jamaican Foods

Jamaican Fruits

Ackee – A tropical evergreen tree that grows about 30 feet tall, with leathery leaves and fragrant white flowers. Its fruit is pear-shaped, bright red to yellow-orange, and when ripe, splits open to reveal three large, shiny black seeds, surrounded by soft, creamy or spongy, white to yellow flesh.

Otaheite Apple – Also called Malay Apple. The fruit is oblong to pear-shaped with a dark red skin and white flesh; sometimes it is seedless. The plant may be used as a remedy for diabetes and constipation.

Avocado Pear – smooth round, glossy green fruits whose flesh is deep green near the skin, becoming yellowish nearer the single large, inedible ovoid seed. The flesh is hard when harvested but softens to a buttery texture.

Breadfruit – A good source of vitamin C, breadfruit is the size of a large melon. Unripe, they are green and their flesh resembles a potato – hard, white, and starchy. Breadfruit is used in savory and sweet dishes according to its ripeness.

Cerasse – Also known as Chinese bitter melon; this fruit is edible when harvested green and cooked. The taste is bitter. Cerasse can also be used to make a tea that is said to be able to cure ailments from indigestion to Cancer.

Cocoa – All chocolate products come from the cocoa. The fruits are red when young and green when mature. The fruit of the cacao grows directly on the trunk of the tree and main branches. It has very small white flowers and the tree develops fruits after about five years.


Hog Plum – The yellowish plum is related to the mango, cashew, and ambarella. The “real” name is the mombin.

Coolie Plum – The small reddish fruit comes from a small to medium-sized tree that can grow up to 40ft. The hard “nut” inside the fruit contains two seeds


Guavas have yellow or green skin and white, pink or dark-red edible flesh.  Shaped like a pear, they are great thirst quenchers and contain a lot of vitamin C. and iron.

Guinep – A small, grape-like fruit with a green skin and a large seed surrounded by a thin layer of sweet, fleshy pulp.

Jackfruit has a hard “spiky” outside shell and the inside fruit is yellowish with a sweet taste and aroma. It contains anywhere from 100 – 500 oval seeds.

Jew (June) Plum – These egg-sized fruits are borne in clusters of up to a dozen or more.  Fruits are thick-skinned, fibrous, and drop from the tree while green.  Before turning yellow, the flesh is crisp and somewhat acidic.  It can be eaten out-of-hand but is also prepared by stewing fruit with sugar


Mammy – Also called Mammy Apple is large and round weighing up to 7lbs. It has a thick light brown skin and its taste can be compared to that of a mango. Each tree can grow up to 75 feet and can yield 300 to 400 fruits. Powder made from mammey apple seeds can be used either as a dusting agant or in a solution as a spray.

Jamaican Mangoes – Most mangoes start off with a dark green skin color and develop patches of gold, yellow, or red as they mature. The skin is smooth and encloses yellow to orange flesh that is softly moist and richly flavored. There are hundreds of different varieties of mangoes.

Naseberry -. The flesh varies from yellow to shades of brown and sometimes reddish-brown and may be smooth or of a granular texture. The flavor is sweet and pleasant, ranging from a pear flavor to crunchy brown sugar. Fruits can be seedless but usually have from 3 to 12 hard, black, shiny, flattened seeds.

Papaya – Also called PawPaw. The papaya is a short-lived, fast-growing, tree that can grow up to 10 or 12 feet in height. The flesh is bright orange or pinkish, depending on variety, with small black seeds clustered in the center.

Passion Fruit – The nearly round or ovoid fruit, has a tough rind that is smooth and waxy and ranging from dark purple with faint, fine white specks, to light yellow or pumpkin-color.


Pomegranate trees can grow up to 20 feet tall with glossy, evergreen leaves. The sweet-sour fruit has numerous seeds that make up more than 50% of the fruit. It can be eaten out of hand, used in jelly or made into juice.

Rose Apple – The fruits are 1 – 2 inches wide, almost round or a little longer than wide. When ripe they may be greenish or dull-yellow flushed with pink. The skin is smooth and thin, and the firm flesh yellowish, sweet and rose-scented.

Sorrel – An annual plant, it is used in jelly and in juice. The leaves and young stems are edible and used in salads or cooked as a vegetable. Powdered dried red sorrel is added to commercial herb teas such as Red Zinger for flavor and color.

Soursop – The pulp of this fruit is creamy and may be eaten as is or used to make ice cream and as a juice. The fruit is large, can weigh as much as six pounds, and take between 20 and 25 weeks to reach maturity. The tree of this fruit may reach a height of about thirty feet.


Star Apple – Fruit can be purple or green depending on the variety. When cut in half, there is an attractive star pattern. The flesh is sweet and tastes very smooth and aromatic.

Stinking Toe or “Tinkin Toe” as Jamaicans sometimes call it, has this name because its seedpods look like big, fat toes and are said to smell like smelly feet or toes. It is however very delicious. The pulp of Stinking Toe is sweet-tasting and is also used in folk medicine to alleviate headaches and rheumatism.

Sweetsop – Also called Sugar Apple. This fruit has somewhat of a purple knobby skin. It is very sweet and is eaten fresh. The inside white, juicy and creamy and contains black seeds.

Tamarind is a thick, dark brown or reddish-brown pulp surrounding small seeds inside a hard, brittle bean-shaped pod. The flavor of the pulp is both tart and sweet, resembling a combination of apricots, dates, and lemons.


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