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by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer
Jamaica is known worldwide for among other things, its outstanding cuisine. From Jerk Chicken to Mannish Water, people enjoy experiencing our culture through some of our favourite dishes. But, is there a specific part of Jamaica where the food is better?
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I can’t say that any part of Jamaica is better than all else at making every dish. But, some locations have become exceptionally popular for some classic Jamaican dishes. Let’s go on a little food tour around Jamaica.
While Jerk can be bought all over the island. It is said to be done best in the east, specifically, Boston Bay in Portland. This is no surprise as this is where the method of preparing wild boar began in Jamaica. The meat was buried and slow-roasted for many days before it was dug up and had by the Taino people and the Maroons who lived in the hills.
The practice of burning and slow roasting the meat is not practised as much around Jamaica as much these days but the Maroons and some parts of eastern Jamaica still do it. Now, the simpler method of slow roasting on green pimento wood covered with pimento leaves and oftentimes zinc is done instead.
You will most likely see this when you get to Boston Bay, but many have attested to the delicious jerk foods they have had there. The original jerk was done with pork, but now, chicken, fish and even shell food are done as well. You will be spoilt for choice in Boston Bay
Also, in the capital of Portland, Port Antonio, you will often see Jerk vendors selling from their pans since jerk chicken is a popular street food on the island.
Living on an island, there are multiple places for exceptional seafood. But some standout spots are Border, Little Ochi, Ocho Rios and Hellshire.
On the border of St. Elizabeth and Westmoreland, you will find, well, Border (Jamaicans are very literal when it comes to most nicknames of people and place names). The way it is revered you would picture it as a fancy restaurant, but it is quite the opposite.
The multiple stalls line the side of the road by the sea and various seafood, most popularly, escovitch fish are sold. You can often purchase sides as well, including fried foods but, there is no better accompaniment for fish than bammy. Some people even go for just the bammy.
For those living in the west, it might be a routine stop for fish at the Border but others journey from very far to get a hold of their very own escovitch fish on weekends especially. Others make it part of their must-have to take to others overseas.
Little Ochi isn’t located anywhere near Ocho Rios despite the common misconception for visitors. It is actually in St. Elizabeth. The seaside restaurant is the place to hang out, go on a date or celebrate many special milestones such as birthdays and anniversaries. Jamaicans love choosing what they eat, which is part of Little Ochi's experience.
You will get to choose the fish, lobster, shrimp or crab and tell them exactly how you would love for it to be prepared. While they work on your new favourite meal in the Kitchen you can walk on a stretch of the black sand beach the south coast is known for.
Popular as a beach spot and even more popular for its mouth-watering seafood restaurants is the famous Helshire. There is nothing like a warm, sunny day at the beach topped off with deliciously made seafood to truly enjoy your holiday in Jamaica.
Ocho Rios has many restaurants dedicated to the best seafood experience, ranging from simple roadside eateries to more refined establishments. These are some of my favourites.
Here's a short video of me and my wife sailing with Michael on his African Star boat on the Blue Lagoon. Noice :-)
Yes I know, shrimp is included in Seafood, but peppered shrimp in Middle Quarters must be highlighted. Words won’t describe how delicious the spicy snack is, let me show you instead.
A trip to or from Kingston from Montego Bay is simply not complete without a stop in Priory, St. Ann by the Pudding man. You won’t miss it. The brightly painted red, green and gold shop is just by the stop sign. And if that isn’t enough directions, then the puddings baking on the outside in the traditional Jamaican way is sure to give it away.
I think the most popular flavours are cornmeal and sweet potato, you can’t go wrong with either with the banana pudding, at least in my opinion. However, if you are feeling a little more adventurous, try carrot or pumpkin.
Give your taste buds a tour as you explore the flavours of the island at our Jamaican food spots.
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What Part Of Jamaica Has The Best Food? | Written: January 12, 2023
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