One of the great reasons people love to visit the Caribbean, specifically Jamaica is because of the delicious Jamaican food. From Jamaican jerk chicken to curried goat and the finest drinks you can imagine, you will be sure to find something you love. Here are the top 5 local foods to eat in Jamaica:
1. Jamaican beef patty/cocoa bread
You may have tried an international version of the Jamaican beef patty, but nothing beats the original. The beef patty is has flaky crust filled with a variety of different fillings. If you’re familiar with the turnovers, it looks like one but the taste is a lot more flavorful. Common fillings would be beef, chicken, shrimp, lobster and even fish. This can be part of a staple Jamaican meal and is often pared with tasty cocoa bread.
2. Ackee and Saltfish
Having a taste of Jamaica’s national dish is a must, and Ackee and Saltfish is very popular. The seed pod of the Ackee fruit is mixed with saltfish or sometimes codfish as well as boiled bananas, dumplings or roast breadfruit. It almost looks like scrambled eggs when cooked, and the unique taste will make you want more.
3. Jerk chicken
Jerk chicken is pretty popular in the US, but wait until you get to try the authentic Jamaican Jerk Chicken! The name is actually derived from the Jamaican jerk spice, a flavorful mixture that is used to marinate the chicken. Some Jamaican restaurants also offer jerk beef, shrimp and tofu, but the Jamaican jerk chicken still continues to be the most popular choice. The spice is made up of a combination of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, thyme, garlic, pepper and nutmeg, making the Jamaican jerk chicken a great dish with a unique flavor of its own.
4. Curry chicken or goat
The use of the curry spice is popular in countries in South Asia with India being the number one producer of curry. Jamaican food is also spiced up with this savory spice; curried goat is a traditional dish that is usually eaten during important family events or functions. Served with rice and peas as a more contemporary alternative, curried goat or chicken can also include coconut or raisins for a sweet and tangy option. You will see many Jamaican families raising goats, for the purpose of saving a goat for special occasions like holiday or even funeral to make curry goat for guests.
5. Roast breadfruit
Breadfruit can be mixed with coconut milk as a favorite dessert and found on most Jamaican food menus. This fruit is typically combined with other ingredients such as butter or sugar, and cooked under an open fire. Other fruits also complement the taste of the roast breadfruit, making it a hit among food critics and locals.