Jamaica is one of the best known of the world’s Caribbean island nations. Located in the heart of the Caribbean region, Jamaica is famous for many things including music, glorious beaches and the Jamaican bobsled team. As many people have found out, Jamaica also offers some world class cuisine. The native cuisine is varied and full of flavor. Travelers will find dishes that have been influenced by many other cultures including Chinese, Indian and African. The result is a rich and delicious food culture that calls the diner all over the island. Try classic dishes like saltfish and ackee. Other regional specialties abound. Soups are popular here along with freshly baked bread and sweets that take advantage of abundant local fruit like coconuts and plantains.
Enjoy Curry and Jerk Seasoning
One thing that many travelers immediately notice when visiting Jamaica is how much Jamaicans love their curry. Curry is everywhere in Jamaica. This mixture of spices has long been popular. Curry is sprinkled on nearly every protein on the island including fish, beans, chicken and goat. Locally grown spices like garlic and ginger add zing to grilled meats and fish. Another popular spice mixture is known as jerk seasoning. Jamaican style jerk seasoning is familiar to people as Jamaicans have immigrated elsewhere. Jerk is a dry rub that is placed on meat and other protein before it is smoked over dry wood. The seasoning is very hot and spicy with heavy use of spices like very hot scotch bonnet peppers and allspice.
Common Main Course
While Jamaican food can vary in parts of the island, in general travelers will find that certain dishes are common in much of the nation. Many restaurants and local accommodations serve a variety of classic dishes. Travelers can find more info here. Jamaican beef patties are delicious large dumplings made with a spiced crust. The interior is typically a combination of beef, onions and more spices. Fish are also popular here. Mackerel is found off the coast and cooked with shredded coconut and cream in a dish known as run down. Cod is another common fish found in the Caribbean Sea. Many people preserve it with salt in what is known as saltfish. It’s served together with mashed ackee, a locally grown fruit. Oxtail is another popular meat. It’s typically served in a stew with baked broad beans.
A Full Meal
A full meal in Jamaica allows every traveler the much welcome opportunity to discover the impressive regional cuisine in person. Soups like red peas soup and chicken soup typically start off a meal here. Steamed fish or a meat heavy main course is common along with rice and peas. Rice and peas is perhaps the most common dish with Jamaica and flavored with coconut milk. Many restaurants offer a vast array of desserts to complete the meal. Look for ice cream flavored with mango, sweet bread with coconut, freshly fried banana fritters and drinks made from local fruit.