A Food Lover’s Guide To Jamaica

Jamaica is internationally known for its rhythmic music, lovely beaches, and historic sugar plantations. However, the distinctive flavours of its food are unmistakable and sometimes overlooked when people consider the popular holiday destination. You can travel to Jamaica using all key airports in the UK, parking can be expensive third party so make sure you head to their official sites if you wish to park; Gatwick airport parking, Heathrow airport parking and Stansted airport parking. Here are some examples of the types of foods native to Jamaica, things that make their cuisine unique, and tips on making one’s culinary tour of the island safer.

Raw Ingredients Of Jamaican Food

Jamaican dishes reflect many cultures including the native Tainos, British, French, African, Spanish, and Chinese. The mild, warm climate of Jamaica makes it the perfect place to grow the tropical fruits that are widely used in Jamaican cuisine like guava, coconut, pineapple, and plantain. Fragrant spices and flavourful herbs like allspice, scotch bonnet peppers, and thyme are creatively woven into a host of vegetable, meat, and seafood fare.

Here are some famous Jamaican dishes, and their list of main ingredients.

#1 Ackee and salt fish. This meal is Jamaica’s national dish, and it calls for the fruit ackee which is grown from an evergreen tree native to West Africa. The ackee fruit must be fully ripe before consuming because eating immature ackee fruit is toxic. Jamaicans prepare the ackee and salt fish dish by sautéing the salt cod-fish in ackee, onions, scotch bonnet peppers, allspice, and black pepper.

Callaloo_04#2 Callaloo. In Jamaica, callaloo is made from amaranth leaves steamed and seasoned with scotch bonnet peppers, onions, and tomatoes. Jamaicans eat the spicy vegetable mix as a side or a main dish.

#3 Curry Goat. A very popular Jamaican dish that has spread throughout the world because of the Jamaican diaspora is curry goat. The ingredients of the dish include goat, salt, pepper, scallions, curry, garlic, scotch bonnet peppers, ginger, thyme, potatoes, and carrots. The delectable marinated goat dish is often paired with healthy rice and beans.

Cooking Techniques

As in most cultures, meal preparation is often influenced by the pervasive religion practised in the region. The Rastafari movement, which calls for its adherents to eat pure, healthy foods that enhance vitality or “ital,” has a significant influence on the culture. While the Rastafari have not put their stamp on every Jamaican dish, many meat-based meals still reflect the tenets of the biblical covenant commands and vegetarian meals are common.

Some Authentic Jamaican Restaurants

There are many healthy meal options available for those travelling to Jamaica no matter what one’s dietary preferences are. Most Jamaican restaurants prepare authentic dishes, but each one is bound to put their own special spin on the entrées. Here are a few popular restaurants that are known for their delicious food and island hospitality.

#1 Cosmo’s in Negril

#2 Royal Kitchen Vegetarian Cafe in Negril

#3 Dickie’s Best Kept Secret in Port Antonio

jamaica-730x486Getting Around Safely in Jamaica

Those visiting Jamaica will undoubtedly meet friendly, hospitable people willing to help visitors, but not everyone is looking out for the welfare of others. As in most countries, one should take precautions to safeguard valuables using common sense. The most valuable thing that needs safeguarding is one’s own person. When possible, prudent travellers walk in groups on well-lit streets and avoid getting inebriated to the point of impaired judgement. Travel experts to the area also advise keeping important papers and valuable jewellery locked in a hotel safe.


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