Imagine a national cuisine that blends the best of flavors from Africa, India, Spain, Great Britain, France, and the native Arawak Indians. Where in the world can tourists enjoy such an eclectic mix of ingredients and techniques? Why, on the Caribbean of Jamaica, of course!
Tourists who stay in vacation homes on Jamaica will enjoy going to fine restaurants which serve a lively cuisine that includes curries, bananas, and cassavas. Of particular interest, perhaps, will be ingredients such as callaloo, a leafy green vegetable which is almost unheard of in the United States or Europe, and plantain, a species of large banana. One of the island specialties is plantain stuffed with callaloo.
Jerk: A Jamaican Specialty
In Jamaica, jerk refers to a way in which meat can be prepared. Chicken, fish, and pork are all commonly jerked. The process involves seasoning the meat with spices that form a marinade and then cooking it very slowly over a wood fire in a pit, or sometimes an oil drum. Although spice recipes differ, a common denominator in jerk dishes is the Scotch bonnet pepper, which is one of the hottest peppers in the world. Locals like to eat jerked dishes accompanied by an ice cold beer, a custom tourists would do well to adopt while they are on island.
Jerk stands dot tourist beaches as well as the streets of Jamaica. For a more formal preparation, order jerked pork in a restaurant, where you will find it served with cornmeal fritters and roasted breadfruit.