If there’s one thing that every Jamaican should be proud of, it’s our culinary heritage.
With a history of cooking flavoursome dishes, gorgeous desserts, and snack food staples that taste utterly divine, we could serve our national food up to even the most discerning eater and know that it would impress.
So why don’t we do it more often? In large part, it’s because we’re all too reliant on microwave meals and fast food substitutes. With 21st century living as busy as it is, we rarely have time to go back to our roots and cook up a storm in the kitchen.
It’s something we really ought to change, which is why we’ve written this article. Offering some foodie inspiration to reawaken your culinary creativity, these dishes are just the ticket to get you back in the game.
Ackee and saltfish
Lots of people outside of Jamaica have never even heard of ackee and saltfish, but it’s the island’s national dish, and it deserves some recognition. A gorgeous combination of fruit and fish, this unique concoction blends the best of sweet and salty to make something truly delicious.
Going perfectly with boiled green bananas, hard dough bread, fried plantains, dumplings, or rice and peas, it’s pretty easy to make, and well worth the time you’ll spend slaving over the stove.
As this Deliveroo article attests, jerk chicken is a deservedly famous Jamaican classic, but jerk pork is amazingly good too, and much more frequently neglected. Pork dressed in the finest jerk seasoning, it’s full of flavour and fabulously tasty, especially when you follow tradition and cook it on a wooden grill for some added smokiness. Going perfectly with rice and beans, it’s an old-school recipe that can result in a modern-day masterpiece.
You can’t go wrong with a handmade burger when you’re entertaining, but if you want to try something a little less western, then bammy and fried fish is an authentic alternative that you could try your hand at instead. A flat, round bread baked from cassava flour, it is reputed to be the oldest prepared food in Jamaica, and one of the most beloved too. An ideal accompaniment to a fried fish dish, it’s simple and straightforward to make, but still tastes incredibly yummy.
Sweet potato pudding
That’s your main meals covered, but what about dessert? If you’re trying to sweeten someone up, then the dish to make them is sweet potato pudding. Among the usual ingredients in this wonderful concoction are grated potato, yam, flour, raisins, coconut milk, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, and baking powder. It tastes absolutely delicious and can be served alongside an authentic glass of sorrel to really impress whilst still staying true to tradition.
Delicious, 100 percent Jamaican, nice and easy to make, these four tasty dishes will give you a great chance to reconnect with your heritage and impress your granny. Why not invite the whole family around to enjoy them with you?
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