Monday, July 1, 2013

Jamaican Jerk Seasoning- How to Use It in Jamaican Cooking

Jamaican jerk seasoning is popular around the world for the distinct flavor that it gives to food. Jamaicans have enjoyed this unique taste for decades. Over time, the ingredients that were used by these chefs in grilling food were combined and made available to all interested persons.

Nowadays, you can reproduce the grilled taste right in your own kitchen with Jamaican jerk seasoning without traveling to Jamaica. Add some onions, pimento and other spices to the seasoning to suit your tastes. Of course, the men and women who prepare jerk chicken, pork and fish at locations all around the island all have their own secret ingredient that makes their grilled offerings taste even better. There’s nothing like having a freshly prepared meal at Boston, Portland or spending some time at Scotchie’s, whether you are a tourist visiting from another country or live in Jamaica.

Both of these locations are famous for their jerk and for the atmosphere, where you can relax and also enjoy some Red Stripe Beer or another favorite brew with your meal. If you ever visit Jamaica, you should stop by these two places and enjoy what they have to offer. Scotchie’s in Montego Bay cooks jerk pork and chicken using the traditional method. The meat is seasoned and cooked slowly over pimento wood on an open barbeque.

Boston Bay in Jamaica is known worldwide as the birthplace of jerk. It is located in Portland and every year, a food festival that is centered around jerk food is held in that parish. If you fly over to Jamaica during that time you can enjoy the natural beauty of Portland and sample almost every kind of jerk food that there is on the planet. There are literally hundreds of food stalls and of course, in the home of reggae music, there’s going to be a lot of music.

All Images above are via Wikimedia

Using jerk seasoning in your kitchen to prepare grilled meats is not hard. Of course, some persons are vegetarian or vegan and will not eat pork, chicken or seafood but that doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy the flavor. Jerked tofu is popular among vegetarians in Jamaica. You can also jerk a number of other food products that are not derived from animals. The list includes:
  • Jerk corn
  • Jerk yam
  • Jerk cassava
  • Jerked banana

I have a recipe for Jamaican jerk fish here. The procedure is the same for corn and tofu. Always allow the food to marinate in the seasonings for at least an hour. I prefer Walker’s Wood Jerk Seasoning. It is rich and smells great. There are dry seasonings available as well that you can try but I think this brand is the best. Use it sparingly the first time. It can be quite hot and if you are not used to the flavor of scotch bonnet peppers your eyes will water.

Walkerswood- Real Spicy Jamaican Jerk Seasoning 

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