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I've already provided a good background to the various foods eaten in Jamaica on my main food page.
In that, I provided some history, - highlighting the genesis of our foods, as well as shared some of our favourite dishes.
Here, I will attempt to provide you with a more categorized list so you can have a better, clearer appreciation of our taste patterns.
Many of these by the way, may not be offered in or at typical tourist joints, although you are quite likely to see them as a part of certain Jamaica food preparations.
A knowledgeable local guide might be able to find some of 'unsuals' for you though.
OK, Here we go!
Did you know that ackee, a key ingredient in our national dish, is actually a fruit? Yes! many have the misconception that is a vegetable. By definition a fruit is the fleshy part of a plant and contains a seed, while vegetables are the leaves, stems and even the roots of the plant.
Jamaica is lucky enough to have an abundance of fruits. Walking along the streets of Jamaica, you are guaranteed to run into a few, especially apples, star apples, cherries, oranges and plums. These are some of the most popular, but they definitely only scratch the surface of all that's available.
I've put together some beautiful pictures of Jamaican food here, take a peek when you can.
From the Rastafarian's ital stew, to Jamaican coleslaw and spicy pepperpot soup, fresh vegetables are a key ingredient in many of our favourite Jamaican dishes. Callaloo which is one of the most eaten vegetables is often times used to make soups, steamed for breakfast or as a side dish. It's even used to make a delicious green juice.
Talk about fish tea, conch soup, jerk pork and stew beef! Seafoods and meats are are major players in the Jamaican cuisine. Many of our dishes are based around chicken, fish and pork. Jamaican cuisine really wouldn't be what it is without these staples.
All the fruits, vegetables, seafoods and meats is enhanced and are so unique because of our Jamaican spices. Whether it's our jerk season, escovitch sauce or brown stew gravy, these herbs and spices are all essential to making the Jamaican cuisine and the unique flavors that it brings people from all over the world to just have a taste. These are herbs and spices are used in almost every Jamaican dish.
I can give you a few hints and say that rice and flour forms the staple of our household. The use of spices such as the pimento, scotch bonnet peppers, cinnamon, thyme, garlic etc, are key seasonings in our preparations.
Perhaps the most traditional Jamaican drinks are the Carrot and Soursop juices.
For those, and some of the most popular recipes and preparations, please see the main Jamaican food page.
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