Jamaica has plenty to offer when it comes to exciting and delicious Jamaican food. From jerk to stew, visitors will have the gastronomic experience they will love when visiting Jamaica.
Here are some of the most popular Jamaican food:
Jamaica’s jerk seasoning has two main ingredients, allspice called “pimiento” in Jamaica and Scotch bonnet peppers among the hottest peppers on the Scorville scale. Other ingredients include cloves, cinnamon, scallions, nutmeg, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper.
Jerk chicken, pork or fish is originally smoked over aromatic wood charcoal. The pimiento wood, berries and leaves of the allspice plant among the coals contribute to jerk’s distinctive flavor. Meats are dry-rubbed or wet marinated with the very hot spice mixture of Jerk seasoning which is traditionally used on pork and chicken.
The traditional location for Jerked pork in Jamaica is Boston Beach, Portland.
Jerk Dishes have now received international recognition and can be found on many menus in Europe and North America.
Jamaican Stew Peas is a mixture of stewed beef, pickled pig’s tail and red kidney beans called red peas in Jamaica. Rastafarians and vegetarians can still enjoy the tall version of this dish without the beef, pig’s tail and very little salt.
White rice and fried ripe plantain are a good accompaniment to this dish, which truly resembles the Brazilian national dish.
Rice and Peas
Sunday lunch is not complete without Rice and Peas on the table. It is used as an accompaniment to several different meats – steamed chicken, roast chicken or oxtail. The heart of Jamaican Rice and Peas is coconut milk. Coconut milk is traditionally obtained from removing the coconut flesh from the shell grating it and then squeezing by hand through a sieve or strainer. The peas- generally red kidney beans – are soaked overnight and then they are slow cooked until tender after which the seasonings are added. The basic seasonings are scallion, thyme, garlic, salt and scotch bonnet pepper. The coconut milk is then added and the ingredients are left to slow cook until everything blends together in one delectable taste. Around Christmas time, the red kidney beans are replaced by fresh green gungo peas which are abundant at the time of year.
Curried Goat or as affectionately call it in Jamaica. Curry Goat, is a dish originating in Indo-Jamaican cuisine that has become so popular it is now regarded as being typical of Jamaica. Curry Goat is a popular party dish in Jamaica and at a “big dance” or “nine night” a local expert or “specialist” is often brought in to cook it. It is considerably more mild than the equivalent dishes from India and is and is flavoured with a spice mix that is typical of Indo-Jamaican cooking and Scotch Bonnet Peppers and its almost always served with plain white rice (or ripe) banana.
Ackee and Salt Fish
Jamaica’s national fruit, the ackee is the main ingredients in Jamaican national dish, Ackee and Salt Fish. Jamaican ackee was introduced to Jamaican’s around 1778 and probably transported in a slave ship. The plant’s botanical name is Blighia sapida in honor of Captain William Bligh who took samples in 1793. The Jamaican ackee tree is native to tropical West Africa and cultivated throughout commercially in Jamaica. Ackee is more widely grown in Western hemisphere. The national dish is seasoned Scotch bonnet pepper, onions and tomatoes and cassava flour cakes and green banana.
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