Jamaican Food Recipe Secrets You’ve Never Heard About Revealed

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There are a lot of good reasons to begin experimenting with Jamaican recipes. Not only can you create the most amazing blends of flavor and texture, but you’ll be surprised by how easy it can be to create delicious meals with that unique Caribbean harmony.

Cooking is an important part of Jamaican culture, with the majority of ingredients for the dishes originally gleaned from produce and spices found locally. These days it’s easy to pick up all of the ingredients you need to create authentic Jamaican recipes from a good supermarket.

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The basis for most Jamaican recipes comes from a successful blend of the island’s multi-cultural heritage. Incorporating elements of Spanish, English, African, Chinese and East Indian into the recipes means the food is influenced by the history and made popular by its unique taste.

One of the key secrets to getting that real authentic taste into your Jamaican recipes is temperature. Understanding when to add certain ingredients is more about releasing the fragrances and mouth-watering flavors when the water or the oil is at just the right temperature.

By paying careful attention to how fast or slow you’re cooking each recipe, you can modify the way your food tastes simply because some spices will react differently when you cook them in various ways. This is also true of the temperature you use to cook your meals, whether you should be using a low heat or a higher heat to allow the ingredients to blend in just the right way.

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Don’t be put off by this. Learning the right temperatures doesn’t mean cooking with thermometers or any special utensils. It simply means understanding the right time to add your spices and herbs to give the tastes you want to achieve. For example, adding spices to boiling water will give you a different end result than if you’d added spices to warm water.

Jamaican dessert recipes are also some of the best you’ll find anywhere, incorporating a flavorful mix of sweet tropical fruits and coconut milk. Coffee is another important ingredient, not only for drinking, but often incorporated into some recipes.

If you’re not used to cooking much, but you want to add some easy Jamaican recipes to your family meals, then don’t be afraid to experiment with some of the dishes available. You’ll be surprised to find that it’s much easier than you might think to create wonderful meals with a Caribbean flavor that everyone will love.

Royal Caribbean Bakery Variety Pack (Hard Dough Bread, 44 Oz.; Spiced Fruit Bun, 38 Oz.; Bulla Cakes, 16 Oz.)

Royal Caribbean Bakery brings the great taste of Jamaica to your home. Royal Caribbean Bakery founders, Vincent and Jeanette HoSang introduced Jamaican patties, bakery products and cuisine to the United States over 35 years ago in their mom and pop shop in Bronx, NY. They are a family owned and operated business creating fresh bakery items daily in Mount Vernon, NY and Jamaican frozen food in Tappan, NY.

Jamaican food is a wonderful blend of culinary delights, influenced largely by the island’s multi-cultural history and enjoyed around the world for its unique taste. 

When you incorporate different flavors and textures from such cultures as British, Spanish, African, East Indian and Chinese, the result is the lovely and often spicy Jamaican foods so many of us have come to love.

The native Jamaican pimento tree is responsible for the addition of allspice to many recipes, but you’ll also find plenty of ginger, garlic, nutmeg and peppers in many dishes. The Chinese and East Indian influence added contributions of curry and other spices to season the local produce and lend an exotic feel to more traditional recipes that have now become recognized as a part of almost all Jamaican food.

Breadfruit was introduced to Jamaica in the 1700s to help provide a cheap food source for the slaves of that time. Since then, it has become one of the staples of traditional Jamaican food. Okra, callaloo and ackee were also introduced from Africa and are now used in a vast number of Caribbean recipes.

In fact, saltfish and ackee has become Jamaica’s national dish and is most often served for breakfast. Cooked ackee has a taste and texture very similar to that of scrambled eggs and salted cod compliments the ackee perfectly to create a lovely, healthy breakfast meal that everyone can enjoy.

Fish and seafood are also prominent features of much Jamaican food and play a vitally important role in much of the cuisine.  Along with the use of spices to flavor the food, rice is often served as a neutral base to help complement the spicy main dishes.

 With the abundance of local tropical fruit, it’s no wonder that many dishes feature additions of paw-paw, coconut, banana, pineapple and mangoes, among many others. 

Jerk, or jerky, is also a very well-known Jamaican food and was traditionally made by the Maroons, runaway slaves who would season strips of pork or goat with spices and slow-cook them with other spices, seasonings and Scotch bell peppers. When the meat is seasoned, it was then traditionally cooked in a charcoal barbecue grill lined with wood from the pimento tree to add a smoked-flavor to the jerk.

This results in a spicy, smoky kind of semi-dried meat that has become a favorite with many people. While pork or goat was traditionally used in this style of Jamaican food, in more recent times this has expanded to include chicken and fish.

Caribbean food is renowned around the world for its unique blend of flavors and spices. While the origins of most Caribbean recipes are attributed to other cultures introducing the basic elements or spices and produce to the islands, the reality is that once on the islands, the locals had to adapt their recipes to suit the local seafood, meat sources and vegetables available.

This adaptation led to the amazing popularity of Caribbean food for its unique mix of fresh foods and stunning blends of spices.

The Arawak Indians were among the earlier inhabitants of the islands and they perfected a cooking method that rose to become one of the most popular ways to cook anywhere in the world.

The Arawaks would use thin greenwood strips to create a cooking grate suspended over a bed of coals. They learned that cooking meat and fish on this grate would give the food a unique smoky flavor.

Since that time, the Caribbean islands have been a crossroads for many other cultural influences, from Europeans, Africans, Spanish, Indian and Chinese.

Jerk is perhaps one of the most recognized Caribbean foods and is made by slow cooking strips of pork or goat meat seasoned with a mix of spices. Traditionally jerk was cooked in a pit of hot coals lined with greenwood from the pimento tree to add a smoked flavor, but in more recent times it’s cooked in special smoking ovens to reach a similar flavor.

Even though jerk was traditionally made using pork or goat, more recently it’s also made using chicken, fish and even tofu.

Most Caribbean foods include okra, callaloo and ackee, although Chinese-introduced rice is a staple and often served as a side dish to many recipes. You’ll also find plenty of African-introduced ingredients in many Caribbean recipes, including cassava, yams and plantains.

While the ingredients look familiar to other cultures and regions from around the world, the unique blend of the diverse Caribbean culture and history has given their recipes a distinct taste that is immediately recognizable by most people.

Learning to cook traditional Caribbean recipes and foods is much easier than most people believe. The secret to a successful meal is learning and understanding how the spices react during different cooking styles and methods.

You can find the ingredients you need for most recipes at any supermarket. Once you try making some of these traditional dishes for yourself, you’ll be surprised at how easy it can be to make wonderful, exotic meals at home that the whole family will enjoy.

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