One of the best things about traveling is getting to try different kinds of foods! Traditional Jamaican food is famous for its fabulous tropical flavors. Here are some dishes that you absolutely must try on your trip:
1. Ackee and saltfish
Ackee, the national fruit of Jamaica, is a reddish fruit (yellowish on the inside) that looks and tastes more like cheese or eggs than it does fruit. That’s why it’s the perfect complement for saltfish! In fact, ackee and saltfish is Jamaica’s “national dish”. Featured in the photo at the top of this article, you can find this Jamaican food favorite on the menu for both breakfast and dinner, and anything in between.
2. Jamaican jerk chicken
Chances are, you’ve heard of this recipe before. There are plenty of variations of it, from casual roadside barbecue-style to upscale restaurant plating. The secret to this recipe’s flavor is the unique blend of spices, and the fact that it’s traditionally smoked over pimento wood.
3. Jamaican rice and peas
Jamaican rice and peas are the perfect accompaniment to almost any protein. It’s a staple for any meal, and is a key part of Jamaican cuisine. You might think that rice and peas sound too simple to be that tasty, but it’s the way this dish is cooked and the spices used that make it so good. Traditionally, kidney beans are cooked with in coconut milk, butter, sugar, salt, and thyme. (Kidney beans are often referred to as “red peas” in Jamaica.)
4. Curry goat
Curry goat is basically goat curry, or curried goat. However, you’ll see it on the menu just the way it’s written in the title above. In addition, you might get a few raised eyebrows from the locals if you call it anything else. (As a side note, the way they speak English in Jamaica isn’t the same way you might speak it, but that doesn’t make it wrong!)
This delicious dish is served almost anywhere on the island, so you can’t miss it. It’s a bit like the Indian version of curry, but usually spicier. Note that it’s usually served on the bone or with bone fragments. This technique of leaving meat on the bone and serving it that way is part of traditional Jamaican cooking . It may take a bit of getting used to, but you’ll often find that the meat is juicier and softer because of it.
5. Mannish water
Are you “man enough” to try it? Mannish water isn’t actually water at all, but rather a spicy concoction of goat scraps (like the head and testicles). It’s all cooked up into a soup that is often served as the first course of a meal. Sometimes people refer to it as goat soup or goat head soup. It may also contain assorted vegetables, potatoes, and yams. It may sound odd, but we promise it’s delicious, and some people even consider it an aphrodisiac!
Main image source: caribbeanfood.com
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