Last week I asked which nation Jerk Chicken was the national dish of. If you guessed Jamaica then you would be right on the money. Jerk chicken or Jamaica Jerk chicken has evolved over hundreds of years to the spicy flavoring we know today. Although it has West African roots, its true development took place in Jamaica. When the Coromantee hunters of West Africa were brought to the Caribbean as slaves they escaped to the mountains of Jamaica and blended in with the native people. They took their cooking styles and mixed them with the resources available in Jamaica along with a few hundred years of modifications to bring you the delicious meal we know today. Jerk is a dry rub or marinade composed of two main ingredients: allspice and Scotch bonnet peppers. And although all Jerk recipes have these two components they often include a variety of other spices like: cloves, thyme, brown sugar, salt, etc. Jerk actually comes from the action of “jerking” which is a process of poking hole in the meat so that the flavors can be more easily absorbed. From here you can use the rub on a variety of meats, fish and vegetables, although most commonly you will find it on chicken and pork. The meal is often paired with rice, fried plantains and other vegetables.
One of the most popular locations in Jamaica to find Jerk chicken or pork is Scotchies in Montego Bay. During meal times you will see people lined up out the door, but it comes highly recommended that the wait is worth it. This local gem is just what the doctor ordered.
Looking to try some traditional jerk chicken? Give us a call, we would be happy to make your Jamaican dreams a reality. 920.236.7777
This week’s trivia: What was the first state in the USA?