If you are going to Jamaica, then you will find a wide variety of cuisines. Many people from other countries including Ireland, South Africa, India, Spain and China brought their favorite foods with them when they settled here. Therefore, this island country has a unique blending of foods from around the world that inhabitants have changed to make it their own.
While chicken is the most popular food to be prepared with jerk spices, guests to Jamaica will also find many places serving pork, seafood and other delicacies spiced with jerk seasoning. A blending of spices including habanero peppers and allspice is applied to the meat before it is slow cooked. Relying on local resources, the meat is cooked over pimento wood.
Red Pea Soup
Many restaurants serve red pea soup either by itself or with a sandwich. This soup is made with kidney beans and pigtail that has been soaked or boiled to remove some of the salt. Then, it is usually combined with allspice, habanero peppers, peas, yams, scallions and taro.
There are many ways that seafood is prepared in Jamaica. Many people gather on the beaches to make fish stew cooking it in a big pot over wood. Many upscale restaurants serve fried fish. Still, others love to dine on roasted fish that is prepared wrapped in tin foil. Codfish is often boiled with ackee. This fruit is originally from West Africa can be toxic, however, if not allowed to ripen naturally. Therefore, people staying in villas may want to wait to eat it with local residents who understand this fruit.
Chicken Foot Soup
While many parts of the world throw away the feet of the chicken, they are considered a delicacy in Jamaica. They are prepared as a soup with a variety of vegetables. Others love to substitute cow testicles for the chicken feet while using the same types of vegetables. All soup in Jamaica is prepared with a very watery broth. It is considered impolite to not tip the bowl up and drink the broth. The tail of oxen are often prepared using a very similar technique.
Billy goat meat is prepared in a variety of ways. Curried goat is often served. Unlike in India where the meat is cooked and then spices added, most people in Jamaica add the spices to the meat and then brown the goat meat. Once the meat is almost done, then water is added to the pot where the meat continues cooking. Alternatively, billy goat meat is often prepared in a soup alongside vegetables. The most important ingredient in this soup, however, is young bananas that are left unpeeled. Chefs slice them thin and allow them to cook alongside the vegetables and goat meat.
If you are planning a trip to Jamaica, then make sure to try these foods. While many foods draw on the traditions of people who have moved to Jamaica, people settling here have taken the basic ideas and made these recipes their own. Many Jamaican chefs give these basic recipes their own unique twists.