Delicious & Delectable
Food From Jamaica
Delectable food from Jamaica
by Wellesley Gayle
You haven't really savour your taste buds if you haven't had some Jamaican food - seriously :-)
New! Get your Jamaican Grocery here
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!
Jamaican Jerk Chicken
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. And the creativity expands every year!
Incidentally, my former high school - Manning's High, is host of this yearly landmark event.
Popular Jamaican Dishes
The following are some of the most popular and may I dear say, favourite, Jamaican dishes.
Jamaican Okra & Saltfish Breakfast
How About Some Free Jamaican Recipes?
Click Here for a list of free recipes.
- 'The National Dish': (Ackee and Saltfish)
I have not yet met a fellow Jamaican who does not relish this dish.
Its versatility allows it to be served with almost any dish. My family serves it up mainly with roasted breadfruit or boiled bananas. It is a Sunday morning breakfast favorite!
- Curried Chicken
Ask any Jamaican what is their favourite, easy prep, poor man's dish and they'll likely tell you that it is curried chicken (or curried chicken back) and dumpling!
Before I changed my diet up a bit, curried chicken and dumpling was my personal favourite!
- Curried Goat:
Curried goat, aka curried mutton, is not not only popular but a delicacy here as well. The ram goat (male) is the preferred option though. Currried Goat is a must-have on the dinner table at Christmas time.
By the way, below is a pic of my wife having curried goat with 'rice and peas', fish and some steamed vegetables back in Negril.
My wife having curried goat with rice and peas back in Negril
- Oxtail Stew
Remember having this? I mean, Jamaican home cooked? You'd remember trust me. It 'noice' :-)
- Manish Water:
Manish water is also
known as 'power water' and 'goat belly soup'. This is a must at
funerals, weddings, wakes, and indeed any large gathering, including traditional dance parties.
- Stewed Peas
With pigs' tail or beef, the option is yours. Get is home prep and you'll keep asking for more.
- Brown Stew Chicken
- Mackerel Run Dung:
Another breakfast favourite. There cannot be much meals as tasty as the custard from the boiled coconut juice in this meal.
- The Jerk Dishes -Jerk Chicken, Jerk Fish, Jerk Pork, etc.
One of the 'brand' food from Jamaica, Jerk dishes can be had at any of the top hotels we have and even on the roadside -if you prefer that, courtesy of the 'Drum Pan' chefs.
Jamaican Jerk is an international favourite. Of course by now you know that it is pimento, aka Jamaican allspice, that is the core ingredient in our jerk preparations.
- Rice & Peas & Chicken
Yes, that's actually the name of the dish! It is possibly the most popular dish here. In the past, rice and peas was eaten mostly on Sundays, but today, this is one of the first menu item you'll likely get at any local restaurant, cook shop or eatery.
- Patties Now famous the world over!
By the way, can I tell you that I now owe my US based co-worker Rukhsana, over 100 patties!
If not a breakfast item, festivals are usually a side item to the main dishes, I love them unending! They are usually served with our jerk dishes, from jerk pork to jerk chicken.
- Porridge (Cornmeal, Oats, Peanut etc)
Either on provides a solid start to the day. Today we have lots of cart vendors who sells porridge in the cities in the mornings.
- Fried Plantains
Strapped for time or running late? Fried plantains to the rescue.
They are quick to prepare and has lots of nutritional benefits too.
- Gungo Peas Soup
- Steamed Fish &
- Escoveitched Fish!
New! Have you seen the pictures of Jamaican food? Make sure you don't miss them. Visit this page and delight your taste- buds! All pictures!
...And What's For Dessert?
At your service! I should probably ask you what do you like :-)
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... And The Drinks/Juices?
This list is quite 'refreshingly' lengthly, but I can easily recollect:
- Soursop Juice
- Carrot Juice
- Sorrel: (with the rum!)
Most popular at Christmas time.
- Jamaican Rum Punch
- Blended Roots Drinks
These have become increasingly popular. They are believed to help with masculinity and male sexuality.
I had one brand which had no less than 15 different roots ingredient!
- Sangster's Rum Cream liqueur, a favourite the world over!
- Coconut Water: Cool and refreshing!
- Coffee: How could I forget (I almost did) the authentic Jamaican coffee? Jamaica's Blue Mountain Coffee is world premium by every test!
And of course, Jamaican wines & Jamaican Rums, which includes the world famous Appleton Jamaica Rum.
Learn more about drinks on my Jamaican Drinks page and feel free to try some of them that are on the Jamaican drink recipes page.
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What About Jamaican Fruits?
Food from Jamaica - Roadside shop selling Jamaican fruits
jamaican june plum
In addition, to the highly sought after Soursop and the ever refreshing Coconut, there are:
- June Plum
My family has loads of trees around the old family house in the country.
- Lime & Lemon
- Mountain Sop
- Mangoes: Of all kinds, names, shapes and sizes. Take nothing away from stringy, yes I was enjoying it here, but my favourite still remains 'Julie' :)
- Jamaican Apple
- Custard Apple
- Sugar Cane. not sure about the classification, but there you go)
- Avocado Pear
- Guava and
- Star Apple
Despite the stain it can emanates, I can't get enough of it. I look forward to the season, usually in March / April, when Opal (a friend of mine) and I go to Bickersteth (St. James) to fill up the crates!
- and more.
By the way, we also have the tasty and versatile ackee, and breadfruit, but we have those cooked. Read more on Jamaican fruits here.
So you see, the list is quite lengthy, and this is just the beginning, pulled from direct memory. Although these would certainly represent the most popular or favourite, I will continue to update as we go along.
Don't Miss These Informative Pages Related To Food From Jamaica
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Go to Jamaica Culture from Food from Jamaica OR
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Jamaican cuisine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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About The Author
A patriotic Jamaican who adores his culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' - since April 2007.
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