25 Jan

If you are visiting Jamaica, a to-do-list is absolutely necessary. Chances are you are planning on going to the beach, chatting with the locals, learning more about the Jamaican culture or eating up a storm. Speaking of eating, Jamaica has a wide range of foods that are exclusive or unique to the island. The spices and the different seasonings are combined to whet your appetite and tantalize your taste buds.
Here is a list of some Jamaican food that you have to try, while you are enjoying your vacation in Jamaica.

Ackee, which happens to be Jamaica’s national fruit, is most times combined with saltfish (or codfish) to produce a savory meal which is spicy and salty (not too salty) all at the same time. The dish is also visually appealing as well, as the ackee, which is bright yellow, is surrounded by the seasonings of tomato and green peppers. It is mostly served with festivals or fried dumplings. Although traditionally eaten as a breakfast item, fanatics of this special dish will eat it any time of the day.

Patties are probably Jamaica’s unofficial meal for lunch. This golden-yellow, half-moon shaped food has a flaky crust on the outside and juicy seasoned fillings on the inside. The fillings vary from beef, cheese or chicken to vegetable, shrimp or ackee. (Yes, ackee patties exist). Whatever fillings you choose, Jamaican patties are definitely something to try when you are visiting Jamaica. A warning though- they are highly addictive!

A signature dish for a Jamaican Sunday dinner, rice and peas is great with any type of meat. The unique flavor comes from the gungo/pigeon peas, coconut milk, thyme and escallion. Scotch bonnet peppers can also be added if you want it a bit spicy. If you have tried rice and peas before, then you have definitely experienced one of the most important dishes in the Jamaican cuisine.

Another very popular meal is the Jamaican jerk chicken or pork. Although they are different methods of preparing this meal (meat smoking, with wood burning ovens or barrels filled with charcoals), the spices that contribute to the wonderful and unique taste are the same. These spices include: scotch bonnet peppers, cloves, escallion, thyme, garlic, ginger and salt. Jamaican or not, don’t miss out on the island’s famous jerk – have it alone or with festival, rice and peas or bread.

A wonderful Jamaican Dessert, the bread pudding is definitely a must have while in Jamaica. Popularly made with days old white or wheat bread, the bread pudding owes its sweet taste to the combined mixture of sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut milk and raisins. A tip of Jamaican rum is also sometimes included. It is also easy to make, so you can try baking it for yourself.

Explore Jamaica

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