Jamaican food includes a mixture of cooking techniques, flavors, spices and influences from the indigenous and immigrants who have come from around the globe, bringing with them the cooking techniques, flavors, spices and recipes of their homelands and blending them with the bountiful harvest of this tropical island. The result is some of the most flavorful cuisine in the Caribbean.
From tropical fruits to exotic spices, Jamaican food is a vibrant fusion of European, Asian, African, Caribbean and indigenous flavors. The surrounding Caribbean Sea provides a wealth of fresh seafood while the diverse terrain produces an assortment of fruits and vegetables that form the base of Jamaican cuisine. A wide variety of seafood, tropical fruits and meats are available.
Jamaican cuisine is healthy because it is made with many unprocessed foods, uses smaller portions of meats, has a high content of fish and beans. Popular Jamaican dishes include curry goat, fried dumplings, ackee and salt fish (cod) — the national dish of Jamaica — fried plantain, "jerk", steamed cabbage and "rice and peas" (pigeon peas or kidney beans). Breads are also popular as well as fruit beverages and Jamaican rum.
A popular food style is “jerk” which is made up of herbs and spices such as scotch bonnet peppers, cinnamon, allspice, thyme, onion, chives and nutmeg. The seasoning is a marinade for chicken, fish or pork before cooking the meat on a BBQ grill or a fire pit. Jerk shacks thrive on the side of the road in Jamaica as a local fast-food industry. The resultant food can be very spicy hot