I can speak authoritatively on Jamaican food since, not only do I eat it, I also prepare a few of the dishes myself :-) Thanks to my belated grandmother "Mammy" - an expert chef, mother and disciplinarian.
Our food is truly a celebration of the diverse cultures we boast- but with a touch of novelty and innovation.
The Arawaks [or Tainos]- the island's earliest recorded inhabitants, contributed the famous 'Jerk' idea.
I learnt also that it was the English- who captured the island from the Spanish, that brought the concept of patties to the island. Today, Jamaican Patties are now a world favourite!
The Indian influence is dominant in our curry dishes. Today, we not only have curry meats, but curried vegetables and fruits!
The annual Westmoreland Curry Festival provides a wide array of appealing curry dishes. Incidentally, my former high school- Manning's High, provides the venue.
Some of the popular Jamaican dishes we feature include...
'The National Dish': [Ackee
and Saltfish] I have not yet met a fellow Jamaican who does not relish
this dish. This is usually served with roasted breadfruit or boiled
bananas. It is a Sunday morning breakfast favorite!
Rice & Peas & Chicken:Yes, that's actually the name of the dish! It is possibly the most popular dish here.
famous the world over! And hey, I now owe my US based co-worker
Rukhsana, over 100 patties! Whenever I ask her for a favour she usually
says, 'that's another Jamaican patty'. (More on Jamaican meat patties here)
Festivals:I love them unending! Festivals are usually served with our Jerk meats.