Amazing Jamaican Delicacies
To most folk, Jamaica brings to mind beaches, rum and Reggae. But talk to anyone whos been there, and theyre bound to mention the food. Theres a staggering amount on offer; rich-tasting, diverse and well worth trying out. These are the five things you really should taste when visiting Jamaica.
Jerk is a staple in Jamaican food, often sold by street vendors and at beachside huts, but as youll see its on offer in bars and restaurants too. Youll come across jerk chicken, pork, goat, beef or even jerk fish because “jerk” basically describes the method of cooking. Meat or fish is marinated in a special sauce. The sauce used includes pimento seeds, herbs, and peppers. After a very long marinade the meat is cooked slowly, normally over an open flame. Each cook is likely to have a slightly different take on what goes into his or her sauce, and with some its a closely guarded secret!
Patties are to Jamaica what burgers and hotdogs are in the USA. They are sold everywhere in Jamaica, and there are heated opinions about what and who makes the perfect patty. Patties are filled and fried pie. Whether they contain meat or vegetables, theyre a very tasty, rich and filling fast food. Find a busy patty stand and you know youre in for a treat.
Rundown is normally served as a starter. Its a fish-based dish, and as youd expect the Jamaicans are experts at cooking seafood of all kinds. Prawns or fish are cooked in coconut milk and seasoned slowly for a long long time, until the flesh is so tender it can literally run down your face. Creamy and smooth, its a real taste of the Caribbean.
Another fish-based favourite, Escovitch Lobster should be tried at least once by everyone who visits Jamaica. Escovitch is probably best known as a lobster dish, but there are many seafood Escovitch versions. Describing it as fish cooked in vinegar and served with a vinegar sauce may be factual, but it really doesnt do the dish justice. Its a staple for restaurant menus for a very good reason. Fortunately that means that finding a place to sample it shouldnt be too difficult.
Dukunnu or Duckoono
Dukunnu (which is also called blue draws or tie-a-leaf) is served as a desert or a sweet snack. Coconut, grated yam or bananas, spices and cornmeal are mixed and tied up or wrapped in banana leaves. It is very rich, smooth, and very very tasty.