One of the richest Jamaican heritages is in the food we eat. With an abundance of home-grown ingredients that have melded truly remarkable fares we offer a unique cuisine. Montego Bay’s restaurants run a gamut from lick-your-finger fast food to white-gloved service. Most restaurants are found near and on the Hip Strip, the Rose Hall area and not far from the heart of Montego Bay. Even though many guests find themselves dining within their resorts, Montego Bay is home to some of Jamaica’s finest fare. Influenced by Irish, African, Indian, British, French, Spanish and Chinese, Jamaican cuisine is rich and bountiful. But where to start?
Here’s your easy-to-go guide to all Jamaican cuisine:
If you don’t eat anything Jamaican, at least have a taste of Jamaican Jerk chicken. This is a staple of the country’s cuisine. Enjoy Jamaican specialties at the Pelican which has been around for more than 35 years and is flocked by everyone, so you know the food is good. The red snapper in parchment paper is mouth-watering, oven cooked in a wine and cheese béchamel sauce with chopped lobster morsels in a bag.
Scotchies, near the Holiday Inn Village Shopping Centre, and Pork Pit, on the Hip Strip, are considered two of the islands’ best jerk spots. Let your taste buds erupt in delight with spicy jerk pork, chicken, fish, sausages and more and complement your meal with a Red Stripe beer or fruit punch.
2. Ackee and Saltfish
Other Jamaican foods you must try include the national dish of Ackee and Saltfish. Traditionally served at breakfast, ackee is an actual fruit that when cooked is similar to scrambled eggs, while saltfish is dried codfish. When cooked together, it makes an incredible and hearty meal, especially when served alongside bammy, which is fried bread made with cassava flour.
3. Curry and goat
Curry goat is a curry dish prepared with goat meat. It originated in the Indian subcontinent and made its way to Jamaica where it is mixed with a spice mix that is found here. It is usually reserved only for weddings and other special occasions. With its increasing popularity, it has become more and more common. It can be served with rice and peas – another staple of Jamaican cuisine as well as with fried plantains, another Jamaican delicacy and must-try.
4. Jamaican Patty
Another favorite is the Jamaican Patty, a staple food which includes a pastry crust originally filled with beef, then baked or fried. Nowadays, you can try them with other fillings such as chicken, fish, lobster or vegetables. It ranges from spicy to mild and is mainly eaten for lunch or as a snack.
Despite its small size, this Jamaican dessert is bursting with flavor. The popular Jamaican dessert contains a gooey, sweet coconut center that’s usually seasoned with nutmeg and ginger. This sweet tart is sometimes called a “pinch-me-round” or “bring me more”.
In addition to these 5 stables, you must also taste the delicious Blue Mountain coffee that can only be found in Jamaica; some Red Staple beer; Festival: a fried, crunchy corn-flavoured roll; bammy: flat, round bread made of cassava flour; Irish moss; callaloo and the list goes on.