Jamaica is the third-largest country in the Caribbean when it comes to wonderful food and its amazing flavours. Authentic local food was born out of necessity in this land as earlier nothing was readily available in the country but only fresh and raw food materials. So they had to make their food out of raw spices and fruit materials that were available. After all, it was a life on the islands and that’s what makes Jamaican cuisine one of the most revered cuisines in the world.
Top 15 Food items to try out when you are in Jamaican
1. RICE & PEAS
People in Jamaica usually eat rice in huge quantities with chicken on every plate. Rice and peas are found everywhere and usually eaten for lunch. The chicken is finely roasted and then sauteed with rice and peas are added to it until a brownish texture comes. It is cooked by adding coconut milk with lots of spices.
This sounds like it would be a dish made out of potatoes but you are wrong. This is a dish that is made out of sauteed green vegetables. This is usually served as a side dish for many lunch items. Those are typically sauteed vegetables which are finely chopped and then roasted with onions, carrots and lots of garlic. It is a high protein meal.
3. ACKEE & COD
Ackee and Salt Codfish is Jamaica’s national dish. To be eaten up it needs some temporal order as the fruit is toxic if eaten up before it’s ripe. Ackee is typically eaten up for breakfast, and it is very tasty! It is had it many ways: poached with tomato, garlic, onions, bell pepper, spices, and preserved fish that is generally cod but sometimes mackerel. Served with rice, it’s delicious. ackee and codfish is additionally a well-liked filling for Jamaican patties.
This is a root vegetable that is sliced down and deep-fried until golden brown in colour. It is like a pass time snack which can be eaten at any point of time. It is mostly served with honey and jam.
5. COCO BREAD
Coco bread could be a flour and yeast bread with a bit coconut milk and typically a bit of sugar, that is found throughout Jamaica. The bread is often used for sandwiches. We’ve had everything from deep-fried snapper to beef patties stuffed into the fold- consider a little crusty roll or a kind of dinner roll. It’s Jamaica’s version of sweet staff of life and could be a real filler-supper, therefore bring your appetite!
6. JAMAICAN BEEF PATTIES
The wheat flour dough is usually filled up with a mixture of minced meat and coriander powder, cheese and some local spices. Some vendors also use sweet potato in the dough making process. It tastes sweet and crunchy as it is fried till golden and served with mayo.
7. AUTHENTIC JERK CHICKEN
All the Jamaican people seem to be dead if not served with authentic jerk chicken. This chicken is smoky hot and sizzling with barbeque sauce pouring on it. The chicken here is first marinated with lots of ginger garlic paste and white pepper and also other types of local spices, which make it even more appealing.
8. CURRY GOAT
The Jamaican curry goat is even richer in taste when compared to the authentic jerk chicken. This curry is cooked with a variety of spices, ginger, garlic, onions, bell peppers and hot sauce which makes the broth and the goat pieces even more tastier. Also, the fact that the curry is slow-cooked, gives it time to mix with other spices.
9. RUN DOWN
This is a traditional dish of Jamaican people that is slow-cooked. This stew is mainly cooked with the help of onions, ginger, garlic, bell peppers, and a smoked chunk of mackerel or codfish and prawns also with lots of coconut milk. This dish is mostly eaten with dumplings or boiled green bananas as an accompaniment.
10. FISH ESCHOVITCH
This dish is a must-try in Jamaican cuisine. It requires an authentic preparation. This dish must be traditionally cooked with red snapper. The fish is blanched in pickled vinegar and then mixed with various spices and sauces and marinated overnight and then deep fried the next day.
11. SWEET POTATO PUDDING
The love for sticky dessert is fulfilled by this dessert. Finely grated sweet potatoes are mixed with rum, raisins, coconut, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon as their ground ingredients. This mixture is then baked.
These are small round-bottomed sweet tarts. They are filled with grated coconut, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, sweet ginger and sometimes, for a different flavor, vanilla or berry essence. These are crunchy on the outside and soft from inside.
It is considered to be the staple food of Jamaican people. It is a fruit. Before being consumed this fruit is either boiled, roasted or fried and then only eaten. When this fruit is cooked it resembles a similar taste to the potato or freshly cooked bread.
14. WATER CRACKER
Water cracker is nothing but a biscuit. The name is followed because these biscuits are made by mixing flour and water in correct proportion. They are very slim and brittle, often served with melted cheese and wine.
15. TARO DUMPLING
It is the variety amongst the dumpling family which is most fondly eaten by the Jamaican kids. The outer shell is made from a thick root plant that has been boiled and mashed. The filling was traditionally made from peppered pork but now it is also made from chicken, eggs and prawns. Then it is deep fried and served hot.