Jamaica isn’t just about tropical beaches, laid back living and the legend that is Bob Marley – it also serves up some of the most lip-smackingly delicious food on the planet.
Here we take a look at some of the island’s most mouth-watering delicacies…
1. Jerk chicken
Epic jerk chicken reigns high as the king of kings in Jamaica, with the delicacy being the island’s national dish.
Jamaicans are big on fiery and flavoursome foods, so jerk is a combination of seasonings like Scotch bonnet peppers, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme and onion, which is dry rubbed on to meat and roasted – often for many hours over pimento wood.
Any food can be ‘jerked’ with the most popular being chicken and pork and is an absolute must on a Jamaican gastronomical adventure.
2. Ackee and saltfish
Forget about cereal and toast for your breakfast, on this totally tropical island the only way to start the day is with a good helping of ackee and saltfish.
It is a mixture of codfish and the ackee fruit which is then mixed with peppers, onions, tomatoes, Scotch bonnet peppers and bacon.
Your bran flakes will never be the same again…
Whether you know it or not, you’re likely to eat callaloo while on holiday in Jamaica. It belongs to the leafy green family and is similar to spinach.
Served numerous ways it is often enjoyed in patties but is often smuggled into other foods – so despite your best attempts to be unhealthy on holiday, it’s likely to be unavoidable here.
4. Fried bammies
The main ingredient of this fantastically named dish is cassava – a main staple of the Arawak Indians that is still just as popular today. It is a root which is squeezed dry and grated before being moulded into delicious flat cakes.
It is often accompanied by roasted or fried fish.
5. Chicken foot soup
This delightful sounding delicacy doesn’t need much explanation. Doing just what it says on the packet, it’s basically a soup whose star ingredient is a chicken’s foot. Carrots, pumpkin, yam and cho-cho are also added.
6. Curried goat
Spices are directly added to the goat meat before being plunged into a pan of smoking oil. The pan is then covered, and when the seasoning has penetrated the meat, water is added. It is often served with white rice and boiled green bananas. Scrumptious, no?
7. Mannish water
This is a soup made from the head, feet and tripe of the ram goat – again, simply delicious.
Young bananas thinly sliced are added along with potato, pumpkin and carrots.
8. The Jamaican patty
You’ll often find patties being served at stands – a delicious street food to try on your travels.
It is basically a savoury pastry with ground meat inside and seasoned as only the Jamaicans know how. You’ll find a wide selection of fillings from pork and chicken to lobster and vegetarian options.