A Jamaican Food Guide to Eating Local Cuisine for Only $40 US Per Day

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Jamaica is much more than lazing around on a lounge chair. Jamaica is about a rich food heritage, with sumptuous jerk chicken dishes, ackee & saltfish, rice and peas, oxtail and beans and of course Red Stripe beer. While you can buy Jamaican food in almost any country, ask any Jamaican and you will hear that Jamaican food never tastes as good as when you buy it in Jamaica. Many people visit Jamaica but never actually see and experience the real Jamaica cuisine. Take a journey around Jamaica and experience the different tastes and unique recipes that the country has to offer. When next you visit Jamaica, try to stay away from touristy traps and ask around for local places that offer tasty but great value meals. Here are tips for spending a tasty couple’s day out exploring Jamaican cuisine, for only $40 a day.

Start the Day with a Jamaican Breakfast of Champions

Vacationing in Jamaica allows you to see the sights and you do not have to break the bank to enjoy quality meals. Visit a local restaurant and expect to pay no more that $14 US for a breakfast meal for two. If you choose to stay in the hotel and have breakfast, you are sure to pay much more, but dine like a local and save while enjoying authentic meals like the locals eat. Start you day off right with authentic, locally produced premium Blue Mountain coffee. Alternatively, you might choose a cup of chocolate tea, but this chocolate is not going to be the processed powder you are used to using to make tea as Jamaicans make their chocolate tea from formed cocoa balls. Jamaicans grate this cocoa into boiling water and add milk or coconut milk to make a delicious and creamy chocolate breakfast drink.

Have the breakfast of champions with the national dish of ackee and saltfish (salted cod). Ackee is locally grown and has the color and texture similar to that of scrambled eggs. Regardless of what it looks like, ackee is the main star in the ackee and saltfish dish. Locals normally serve ackee and saltfish with boiled or fried dumplings (Johnnycakes), boiled green bananas and local yellow yam (not to be confused with sweet potato). Another popular breakfast dish is stewed chicken, also served with yam, dumplings of your choice and green banana. Do not be surprised to find curried chicken on the menu for breakfast, so, if you wanted to do something different in Jamaica, why not try some curried chicken for breakfast? That will be a sure change from pancakes and eggs!

If you are not the type of person to have heavier meals that early in the morning, then why not go for a bowl of porridge. Porridge in Jamaica is not restricted to oatmeal as there are many different types of porridges available for breakfast. Why not try a bowl of hot cornmeal porridge, peanut porridge, plantain porridge, green banana porridge or hominy corn porridge. Whichever bowl of porridge you choose, be sure it will be a bowl of creamy natural goodness without artificial preservatives. In addition, the best thing about having bowls of porridge for breakfast is that you probably will spend only about a half of your breakfast budget for two bowls of nourishing porridge.

Stop for a Brief Reprieve with Jamaican Lunch on the Run

When you are on vacation, you have many things to do and numerous places to see. Consequently, you probably will not have time to do a long lunch. In Jamaica, a staple lunch favorite is the iconic and cost-effective patty and coco bread combo. A combo for two, including drinks at any local restaurant chains or bakeries should be about $8.50 US. If you are wondering what a patty is, think of the Jamaican equivalent of a meat pastry. Patty originally only had a minced beef filling but now has other fillings such as soy, vegetable, curried chicken and lobster. Whichever patty you choose, you must have the warm and tasty accompanying coco bread. Coco bread is light hardough bread with a buttery taste and makes a great pairing with the spicy patty; who could ask for a more tasty lunch.

If you are not in the mood for a patty, then another cost-effective lunch option is Jamaican spice bun and cheese. Jamaican spice bun comes in different sizes, but the convenient sized “penny” bun, is similar in shape to an English hot cross bun. Jamaicans eat the penny bun with a slice of Jamaican cheddar cheese which is a creamy, cheddar cheese. One of the more popular cheese is the Tastee Cheese and most supermarkets and shops will sell you a slice of cheese for you to make your bun and cheese lunch combo. If you ask when purchasing your bun and cheese, someone will normally be kind enough to cut the bun for you so that you can place the cheese between the bun. Bun and cheese combos costs less than $2 US, and add on a local boxed orange juice for another $1.20 and you have a quick and easy lunch.

Fortify yourself for an Evening on the Town

Dinner in Jamaica offers many choices of traditional meals. Jamaican cuisine includes oxtails and beans, curried goat, escoveitch fish, jerk chicken and roast fish. Pair any of these with tasty rice and peas, plain white rice or bammy (a local cassava flat bread) along with fresh vegetables. Meal prices range from $12 to $17 per couple if you buy your dinner from local hotspots. Along your drive in Jamaica, you will pass numerous vendors and small restaurants that you should be sure to check out. If you see locals buying from a food establishment, then you can be sure that the food is going to be affordable and tasty. If you are in St. Catherine, then visit Hellshire Beach in Portmore, as you can choose the fish you want and have it fried or steamed and served with either bammy or festival. Across Jamaica, there are many other places that will also do food to order, just ask a local guide or read your local guide book. So, on your next tip to Jamaica, leave the hotel behind and see and taste the real Jamaican cuisine; become just like the locals.

Kimberly Valentine is a Jamaican entrepreneur and business educator. She operates http://www.jamaicastores.com which sells Jamaican Tastee cheese and easter bun products shipped directly from Jamaica.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6150406

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