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Culinary Tour 2010 • Jamaica

February 21, 2010 by Joan Nova in Culinary Tour Around the World, Travel Retrospectives | 19 Comments

In researching Jamaica, I learned that it was it was originally called Santiago and was a former colony of Spain (no surprise, I guess-what territory in the New World wasn’t?) It was seized by the British in 1655 and did not become an independent member of the Federation of the West Indies until 1958.

95% of the population is of African or partial African descent and nearly the whole population is Jamaican-born. They speak English and an English-Creole language derived from their African roots, called Patois. It’s a very colorful language with some real fun sayings. Ya, mon!

Wha sweet nanny goat a go run him belly [meaning you can’t have too much of a good thing. Come see the good thing I made for this stop on the tour.]

Most notably, Jamaicans are known for “jerking” meats, a process involving a seasoning of hot peppers, onions, garlic, thyme, allspice, ginger and cinnamon and slow cooking. They also eat a lot of fresh foods – seafood fished from the Caribbean, fruits and vegetables. That’s definitely the direction I wanted to take. I looked at quite a few recipes but just wasn’t finding ‘the one‘ so, undaunted, I made up my own. I am a food blogger, after all. :)

Jerked Fish Fillet with Tropical Melange and Coconut Rice + PeasRed Snapper was encrusted in mix of ground almonds, garbanzo flour, FOODalogue seasoning plus some Jerk flavors of red chili flakes, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon. Fish was fried skin side down till crisp and finished in oven.

Tropical Melange contained green plantain and sweet potato (Ipomoea batata), both boiled, then cooled off. Mixed with red onion, avocado, scallion, cilantro, olive oil, fresh lime juice, S+P, splash hot sauce.

Coconut Rice was supposed to be cooked in coconut cream but when I opened the can, I didn’t like the way it looked (probably in the pantry too long) so I sauteed scallions and cooked the rice plain, adding peas toward the end and topping with toasted coconut.

Each component of this dish was DELISH…if I must say so myself, ya mon!

Round-Up: Wednesday, February 24

Next Stop: Haiti, March 1

NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!


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  1. We have a Jamaican restaurant here at farmer’s market. She’s my neighbor. She’s AMAZING. We lover her food so much. Sundays it is PACKED OUT. She serves goat that is delicous, and has many many vegetarian items. Flavor is the key word and it’s all made with much love and hard work.

  2. peter says:

    We have many Jamaicans here in TO and beyond the jerk chicken and akee fish, there’s alot of good eats from this beautiful island.

  3. ap269 says:

    This DOES sound good!!! Definitely looks like something I’d like to eat, so there’s still hope for Jamaica’s cuisine to tickle my fancy ;-).

  4. sippitysup says:

    When I was young I had to do a report on Jamiaca. As part of the report I made a Jamaican Pineapple Flip for the whole class to eat. It was the first time I ever felt the joy of cooking for other people. It’s funny I have not thought about that in years! GREG

  5. Smiling Joan…..we’re almost twins this week. I’ll be done in a few minutes!

  6. We really enjoyed travelling to Jamaica with you Joan. I am reminded of sun-warmed beaches, undulating waves, curried goat and Rastafarians.

  7. Lori says:

    This looks great! We travel to the Caribbean every year and Jamaica is by far our favorite island. I’m excited to be going back this year and we would love a vacation home there someday. There is nothing like real jerk chicken from a roadside stand or a jerk pattie with some Appleton rum. :) I didn’t have time to participate this week, but I’m looking forward to the round up!

  8. My post is up. Thanks…..

  9. redkathy says:

    I’ll have a serving of Tropical Melange please.

  10. Brad says:

    i lovedjerked meats and seafood and have a variety of jerk seasonings i brought back form Jamaica. Thanks for the great recipe

  11. Erica says:

    I Posted my Jamaican dish today!!! All those dishes look delicious, Joan!

  12. Norma says:

    Loved the Melange…..

  13. Maria says:

    I love the flavors of Jamaica and these dishes you’ve highlighted look amazing Joan! Absolutely delicious!

  14. The crust with almonds,garbanzo flour, & Jerk flavors sound excellent! And the tropical melange sounds great with the fish!

  15. I love that tropical melange! Beautiful flavours Joan!

  16. Ben says:

    I learned something new about Jamaica today and your creation looks amazing and so… Caribbean! Hehe.

    I am sorry I’ve been missing the lovely tour, my other project has kept me away from this part of the blogosphere…

  17. Lori Lynn says:

    Jamaican seasonings rock. The fish looks awesome Joan!

  18. Joan says:

    Thanks for all your comments. I’m really having a great time on this tour. Only wish it were real! :)

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