JAMAICAN SNACKS contributed by Tracie Blake
Jamaica is a land blessed with an abundance of coconut and banana trees. As such, the majority of our snacks are made from the coconut or banana fruit.
Among the very popular ones are :-
Banana & Plantain Chips
These are made from green bananas (or plantains) which are seasoned with salt and deep fried in vegetable oil. They are also manufactured and packaged in Jamaica.
These are made from the flesh of dried coconuts. They are diced and added to sugar and local spices such as ginger. The mixture is then scooped up with a spoon and “dropped” on foil or
parchment paper and set out to dry and harden. Hence the name "drops" is infiltrated in the name of this sweet but savory snack.
Gizadas is another sweet snack which is made from a filling of grated coconut, brown sugar, nutmeg, water and then placed into a pie-crusted bottom made from a main ingredient of flour with an addition of shortening, salt and water. This snack offers the pallets a sweet but also crunchy texture when eating.
These colourful snacks are made from grated coconut and sugar and have garnered the name "pink on tops" due to a button sized portion of the snacks being colored in bright pink and placed in the centre on top of the base of the snack.
These are made from a local fruit called tamarind. The tamarind is removed from its shell and rolled in a ball of sugar.
These are "soft" cakes made from the main ingredient of cornmeal. The base is mixed with flour, coconut milk, raisins, vanilla, mixed spice and sugar. It is then baked until a frothy topping is crescendos on it. There are a lot of varieties of puddings in Jamaica such as potato, bread, plantain and dasheen puddings.
This local delectable is made from cornmeal, sugar, raisins, nutmeg, vanilla, salt and coconut milk. All the ingredients are mixed together and folded on banana leaves. They are then put in boiling water and cooked until the mixture firmly gels together. It is enjoyed straight from the banana leaf.
Now a world favourite, these warm pastries are consumed with a cool drink. They are tart-like treats baked with a filling of ground beef, thyme, salt, pepper and paprika.
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