Monday, June 27, 2022

Food & Drinks in Jamaica

North AmericaJamaicaFood & Drinks in Jamaica

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Food in Jamaica

Jamaican food is a mix of Caribbean and local dishes. Although Jamaican food has a reputation for being very spicy, local trends tend towards a variety of more versatile dishes. Some of the Caribbean dishes you will see in other countries in the region are rice and peas (cooked with coconut milk) and dumplings (called empanadas in Spanish-speaking countries). The national dish is ackee and salted fish, and it MUST be tasted by everyone who visits the island. It consists of a local fruit called ackee, which looks like scrambled eggs but has a unique taste, and dried cod mixed with onions and tomatoes. You probably won’t get the chance to try this food anywhere else, and if you really want to say you’ve done something unique in Jamaica, this is your chance. Freshly picked and prepared ackee is a hundred times better than canned ackee, but it should only be harvested when the ackee fruits are ripe and their pods have opened naturally on the large evergreen tree on which they grow: Unripe ackee contains a potent toxin (hypoglycin A) that causes vomiting and low blood sugar. Don’t worry, the locals are experts in preparing ackee and will know how to pick it safely.

Another local food is called bammy, which was actually invented by the Arawak (Taino) Indians. It is a flat, floury cassava pancake that is usually eaten for breakfast and tastes a bit like cornbread. There is also the hard bread (locally called hard bread), which comes in sliced and unsliced versions. Try toasting it, because when it is toasted it tastes better than most breads you will ever eat. If you are looking for dishes with more meat, you can try jerk dishes. Jerk chicken is the most popular, but jerk pork and jerk mussels are also widely available. Jerk seasoning is a condiment that is spread on the meat on the grill like a barbecue sauce. Remember that most Jamaicans eat their food well cooked, so expect it to be a little drier than you are used to. There are also curries, such as chicken and goat curry, which are very popular in Jamaica. The best goat curry is made with male goats and if you see a menu with fish curry, try it.

You can even take a piece of sugar cane, cut off a few pieces and suck on them.

Jamaica has fruit and vegetables in abundance, especially between April and September when most local fruits are in season. The many varieties of mango are a “must” if you visit during the summer months. If you haven’t tried the ripe fruit on the tree, you are missing out. Green picked fruits exported to other countries do not compare. Try drinking “coconut water” directly from the coconut. It is not the same as coconut milk. Coconut water is clear and refreshing, not to mention that it has many health benefits. Papayas, star apples, guineas, pineapples, jackfruit, oranges, mandarins, ugli fruits, ortanics are just some of the wonderful fruits available here.

Locally grown fruit and vegetables are cheap. Visitors will find that imported products such as American apples, strawberries, plums, etc. are generally more expensive than in their country of origin. Grapes in particular are very expensive on the island.

Chinese food is available in many places in Chinese takeaway shops and has a distinct Jamaican flavour.

It is recommended to try local fruits and vegetables. If you are not familiar with a particular fruit, it may be helpful to ask a local which parts are safe to eat. Both local and imported fruits are available from street vendors. If the fruit is to be eaten immediately, the vendors can usually wash it for you if you wish.

Finally, there is the “ital” category, the domain of practising Rastafarians who adhere to strict dietary guidelines. This type of food is prepared without meat, oil or salt, but can still be tasty through the creative use of other spices. Italian food is not usually on the printed menus of upmarket tourist restaurants and can only be found in speciality restaurants. You may have to ask around to find a place that serves Italian food, as it is not very common.

Drinks in Jamaica

There are many drinks in Jamaica. There are standards like Pepsi and Coca-Cola, but if you want to drink local soda, you can try Bigga Cola, Champagne Cola or the grapefruit soda called “Ting” and also Ginger Beer. Also try any Desnoes & Geddes soda, usually labelled “D&G”. “Cola Champagne” and “Pineapple” are popular flavours that you won’t find anywhere else. Since the turn of the century, most soft drinks have been bottled in plastic rather than glass. You can try the local lager called Red Stripe (which is exported to many western countries, so you’ve probably already tried it) and Dragon Stout. Most beers are available in Jamaican pubs and hotels. Jamaican rum, made from sugar cane, is an indigenous hard drink. It is usually too strong and drunk with cola or fruit juice. Drink with caution! It is not meant for someone who is drinking it for the first time. It is not uncommon to find Jamaican rum with 75% alcohol. Because Jamaica was colonised by Britain, the law on drinking alcohol applies to people over 18, but it is generally not enforced as strictly as in the United States. Guinness is popular and the exported beer, which has an alcohol content of 7%, has it all.

How To Travel To Jamaica

By air Norman Manley International Airport (IATA: KIN) in Kingston.Donald Sangster International Airport (IATA: MBJ) in Montego Bay. These two airports receive a large number of international flights daily. There are smaller airports in Negril and Ocho Rios, as well as a smaller one in Kingston that can be served by...

How To Travel Around Jamaica

By train Jamaica has about 250 miles of railway track, 77 of which are currently operated by Windalco to carry privately run bauxite (aluminium ore) trains. Public passenger and freight services were discontinued in 1992, but increasing congestion and poor road conditions have prompted the government to re-examine the economic...

Visa & Passport Requirements for Jamaica

With the exception of Canada, citizens of Commonwealth countries need a passport valid for at least six months, a return ticket and sufficient funds. Canadian citizens need a passport or birth certificate and an identity card. No visa is required except for citizens of Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sierra...

Destinations in Jamaica

Regions in Jamaica County of CornwallThe western region includes the parishes of Hanover, Saint Elizabeth, Saint James, Trelawny and Westmoreland.Middlesex CountyThe central region includes the parishes of Clarendon, Manchester, Saint Ann, Saint Catherine and Saint Mary.County of SurreyThe Eastern Region includes the municipalities of Kingston, Portland, Saint Andrew and Saint...

Weather & Climate in Jamaica

Jamaica's climate is tropical, with hot and humid weather, although the higher regions inland are more temperate. Some areas on the south coast are relatively dry rain shadow areas. Jamaica is located in the Atlantic Ocean hurricane belt; therefore, the island sometimes experiences significant storm damage.

Things To See in Jamaica

Visit Nine Mile, where Bob Marley was born and is now buried. The drive into the mountains takes you to the heart of the country. Spend a day on Negril's 7-mile beach and end it at Rick's Cafe for a spectacular sunset and more fantastic cliff jumping. Beaches Jamaica has more...

Things To Do in Jamaica

Hiking, camping, snorkelling, zip-lining, horse riding, backpacking, swimming, jet skiing, sleeping, scuba diving, kite surfing, visiting the Giddy House, drinking and swimming with dolphins. Dunn's River Falls is a must when you visit Jamaica. They are located in Ocho Rios. The 600-foot high cascade falls are beautiful. You can even...

Money & Shopping in Jamaica

The currency of Jamaica is the Jamaican dollar ($, J$, JA$), whose unique ISO 4217 currency code is JMD. There are notes of 50, 100, 500, 1,000 and 5,000 JMD. There are 20, 10 and 5 JMD coins in circulation (smaller coins are practically worthless). The Jamaican economy has not...

Language & Phrasebook in Jamaica

Jamaicans speak native Jamaican Creole, also known as Patois (pronounced "patwa"). Its pronunciation and vocabulary are quite different from English, although it is based on English. Although it is not official, a large part of the population uses slang such as "Everyting is irie", which means "Everything is good". Although...

Culture Of Jamaica

Music Although it is a small nation, Jamaican culture has a strong presence around the world. The musical genres of reggae, ska, mento, rocksteady, dub and more recently dancehall and ragga have all emerged from the island's vibrant and popular urban record industry. Jamaica also played an important role in...

History Of Jamaica

The indigenous Arawak and Taino peoples, originally from South America, settled the island between 4000 and 1000 BC. Christopher Columbus claimed Jamaica for Spain after landing there in 1494. Columbus' likely landing point was Dry Harbour, now called Discovery Bay. St Ann's Bay was the "Holy Glory" of Christopher Columbus,...

Stay Safe & Healthy in Jamaica

Stay Safe in Jamaica Jamaica has the fifth highest homicide rate in the world. As in any other country, in an emergency, after calling 119 for the police or 110 for the fire brigade or ambulance, you should contact your government's embassy or consulate. Governments generally advise travellers who will...

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