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10 Traditional Jamaican Snacks
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jamaican snacksTraditional Jamaican Snacks

Everyone is familiar with Jamaica's delicious food, but what about snacks? Traditional Jamaican snacks are beyond scrumptious, and they are finally getting their highlight!

See Also: Jamaican Coco Bread Recipe


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It is a well-known fact that Jamaica is home to some of the best tasting food in the world. We are well-known for our jerk chicken and pork, as well as our rice and peas, however, our snacks are definitely nothing to scoff at either. 

From delectable cakes to delicious puddings, our mouth-watering treats have both locals and visitors alike begging for more. So what are some of the favourites?

Coconut Drops

jamaican coconut drops

These are always a popular treat, small pieces of coconut drizzled and boiled in brown sugar and spices. While they are traditionally placed on a greased banana leaf to cool and harden, contemporary bakers use greased pans.

Grater Cake

jamaican grater cake

Another wildly popular coconut based dessert; the grater cake is very high in sugar content giving it a whole new meaning to sweet treat.

Finely grated coconuts form the foundation of this treat along with granulated sugar, spices and food colouring.

‘Blue Drawers’ (Dukunoo)

blue drawers
blue drawers2

Never has the seemingly strange concoction of coconut, green bananas and sweet potatoes tasted so good. This treat, at times called ‘Tie a Leaf’ is uniquely prepared as the mixture of coconut, green bananas and sweet potatoes boiled and served in tied banana leaves.

Tamarind Balls

jamaican tamarind balls

Who knew such a simple treat could be so delicious? Made from tamarinds rolled in sugar, this treat is loved by both the young and young at heart and is a popular snack during the summer months.

It is, by the way, one of the items we have on our e-store here.

Gizzada

jamaican gizzada

The coconut seems to be the go to component for the majority of Jamaica’s sweet treats, because here it is once more making an appearance in the gizzada.

With a similar preparation style to the grater cake, save for the method of the grated coconuts being placed inside creative flat cups made of flour and the use of brown sugar instead of granulated.

Buss Mi Jaw

jamaican_buss_mi_jaw_snack

Don’t be fooled by these small , brown cube-shaped candies packaged in white paper, they pack quite the punch in the texture department. At first taste, buss mi jaw candies will make you fall in love with its faint vanilla malt taste, but bite into them too hard and you may break a tooth or …well, the name says it.

Cornmeal Pudding

jamaican cornmeal puddingPhoto Credit | @WestIndianGroceryDelivery

Listen when I tell you, you have not lived until you have had the slice of heaven that is a piece of cornmeal pudding. Want to know how delicious it is?

The process of baking this pudding is nicknamed “hell at top, hell at bottom and hallelujah in the middle” .

This describes the process of baking the pudding over hot coal , and also putting hot coal on a metal cover on top of the pudding, which gives delicious results.

Patties

jamaican patties

My friend, if you have ever had a Jamaican patty from one of our many patty shops across the island, you have experienced a close to orgasmic taste bonanza.

I am not exaggerating.

Those flaky crusted snacks which come with beef, beef with cheese, chicken and even vegetable centers, depending on which one you want, are beyond delicious.

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Plantains

fried jamaican plantains

A Jamaican breakfast is incomplete without a helping of sweet, fried ripe or green plantains.

Yes, the banana’s cousin is one of Jamaica’s favourite snacks and breakfast food.

You can get your own plantain and fry it, or you can buy one of the pre- packaged packs of the delicious sliced treat, either way I promise you it will be scrumptious.

Banana Chips

jamaican banana chips

Ok hear me out, fried slices of green bananas with a pinch of salt to enhance the taste, sounds delicious right? Because it is! 

Banana chips are a big thing here in Jamaica, annd with several companies making the snack and now fresh new variations of it, we often find ourselves with at least three brands and types of chips in our pantry every week! 

Now down to serious business, we need an answer for an age old debate, Chippies or St. Mary’s banana chips?

I have a favourite but I'll never tell :-)

Not banana chips? So what are your favourite Jamaican snacks and why?
Tell us in the comments below.

And while here, check out my fun video below...

WATCH VIDEO: 21 Must-Have Foods When You Visit Jamaica

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Sources & References for Traditional Jamaican Snacks

  1. "Do you Remember These Snacks", https://www.loopjamaica.com/content/do-you-remember-those-snacks

  2. "Haitian and Jamaican Patties", https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/23/dining/jamaican-beef-patty-branch-kafe-louverture-review.html

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A patriotic Jamaican who adore its 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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