5 Foods Jamaicans resort to in tough times

Life is hard. Every male and female know that like the back of their hands.

Jamaican life is no exception. You know life is getting really rough when you have a Minister of Finance devising creative ways to implement new taxes on the people because he cannot raise the antecedent taxes anymore.

There is a saying that is very popular throughout the English speaking world that goes “Desperate times call for desperate measures”.

If desperate measures are being taken now then it is more than likely desperate times.


Food prices are rising due to inflation of the Jamaican Dollar which is now at a new record high $111.30 jmd to $1 usd.

With the rising food prices in these desperate times, Jamaicans resort to the desperate measures of consuming certain kinds of food. I like to call these certain foods Hunger Busters. Why? Well, you’ll find out when hunger slaps you in the face.

The Five Hunger Busters Jamaicans Resort to:

mackerel poor people food Jamaica








Taking the number one place, only Grace Tin Mackerel has the power to destroy the beast called hunger and gives a feeling of self satisfaction. Lasco and the other types of mackerel are all knockoff brands. There is no Jamaican alive or dead that have not eaten Mackerel. If anything, Mackerel or “Dutty Gyal” as some people call it should be Jamaica’s national dish. If you did not know how to prepare mackerel with some white rice, you will learn to do it very soon.

The Keyed Bully beef/Sardine

Jamaicans eat corn beef









No, it is not preparation for the hurricane season time but these two hunger busters tied for the number two spot as people tend to like both of them. If the key is missing from the bully beef tin, then you are in danger of starving. The same principle goes for the opener on the sardine tin. Season up the Bully Beef or Sardine and put it with some crackers or bread and voila! The end of world hunger…or at least Jamaican hunger.


The Scorned Chicken Back

chicken back in Jamaica








When you cannot afford chicken parts but want a little chicken in your life. Chicken back takes the third spot. You can have it fried, curried or even stewed. Jamaicans have mastered the art of preparing chicken back as the money they earn nowadays cannot buy much and they have a family to feed. My ladies and gentlemen, do not scorn chicken back, it is only part of the chick you will be able to afford if the economic climate changes for the worse.

The Life Saving Crackers

Jamaican tough water crackers








This is how you know when a person has no money to buy food; they have to walk with some Water Crackers or Special Cream to dive into during feasting time. Many of us should be thanking Excelsior for their life saving products. It has saved more lives than the police force throughout the entire history of independent Jamaica. Even the Police force needs saving sometimes from the mighty company of Excelsior.

The Energy Boosting Bulla

Eating bulla and cheese in Jamaica











In fifth place is Bulla, more specifically school bulla. These bulla tastes like magic and according to a couple of construction workers, it gives them the energy to carry out the work of mixing cement and lifting cement filled buckets. Bulla is sold by the bag and is extremely cheap as one of my uncles used to buy three bags of bulla and stashes them away for the hunger/no money period. Bulla fills up its consumer thus allow them to feel satisfied after periods of intense hunger.

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