Jamaican cuisine and recipes – A combination of peoples.
When it comes to food, ask a Jamaican about Jamaican cuisine and he or she will reply; ” Yeh man, Jamaican food? Boy you can’t beat it!”
Jamaican cuisine is created with a unique blend of flavours, spices and cooking techniques indigenous to the island. This is due to two areas of influence.
Whilst on the topic of cuisine, Jamaica street food has to be mentioned. It plays a big part of real Jamaican culture, and you’re more likely to find local islanders queued up at a roti cart or jerk shack than at a fancy tourist restaurant. Jamaican street food is cheap, delicious, and can even be healthy, and offers a real taste of the island for just a few dollars and a little sense of adventure!
Influences on Jamaican Cuisine
- On the Jamaican coat of arms the motto is “Out of many one people”, so when you bear that in mind and think of the people like the Spanish, British, Africans, Indian and Chinese who have inhabited the island, there is little wonder why Jamaican cuisine with its flavours, spices and cooking techniques have spread with immigration to other nations.
- Jamaican cuisine is also influenced by the crops introduced into the island from tropical Southeast Asia and the various dishes brought to the island by different cultures.
- Other dishes are novel or a fusion of techniques and traditions. In addition to ingredients that are native to Jamaica, many foods have been introduced and are now grown locally. A wide variety of seafood, tropical fruits and meats are available.
The most popular dish in Jamaica is Ackee and salt fish, which is its national dish. Other dishes are curry goat, fried dumplings, fried plantain, “jerk”, steamed cabbage and “rice and peas” (pigeon peas or kidney beans). Jamaican cuisine has been adapted by African, Indian, British, French, Spanish, Chinese influences. Jamaican patties and various pastries and breads are also popular as well as fruit beverages and Jamaican rum.