List of Jamaican dishes and foods
This is a list of Jamaican dishes and foods. Jamaican cuisine includes a mixture of cooking techniques, flavors, spices and influences from the indigenous people on the island of Jamaica, and the Spanish, British, Africans, Indian and Chinese who have inhabited the island. It is also influenced by the crops introduced into the island from tropical West Africa and Southeast Asia, which are now grown locally. Jamaican cuisine includes dishes from the different cultures brought to the island, while other dishes are novel or a fusion of techniques and traditions. A wide variety of seafood, tropical fruits and meats are available.
Jamaican Dishes & Foods
- Ackee and saltfish, made from the local fruit ackee and dried and salted cod (saltfish). This is the national dish of Jamaica. It is often served with bread, Jamaican fried dumplings or roasted breadfruit.
- Bammy, a kind of savoury cassava cake
- Breadfruit, served roasted, roasted then fried or boiled.
- Callaloo, Jamaican spinach
- Coco bread, made to sandwich the Jamaican patty
- Cow Foot, stewed
- Curry goat
- Escoveitch fish
- Green Bananas, eaten boiled, or sliced and fried to make banana chips
- Jamaican Festival, similar to Hushpuppy
- Hard dough bread
- Jamaican patty, a savoury and spicy pastry filled with meat (traditionally beef, but modern fast food franchises now also feature jerked or curried chicken, pork, curried goat, shrimp and lobster), ackee, callaloo, tofu or steamed vegetables
- Jerk meat: chicken and pork are the main jerked meats
- Oxtail and beans (broad beans)
- Pan chicken, jerked chicken prepared and sold by street food vendors along with hard dough bread
- Peanuts, available raw, or hot & roasted as street food
- Peg bread
- Peppered shrimps, street food
- Plantain, eaten green or ripe as is, boiled or fried. Plantains are served as side dishes.
- Porridge, flavours include peanut, banana, plantain, cornmeal and hominy corn porridges.
- Rice and peas, the Sunday staple of most Jamaican households but is also eaten during the week
- Roast yam and saltfish
- Run down, a dish consisting of pickled mackerel, coconut milk, herbs and spices
- Solomon Gundy
- Stamp and Go, dried and salted cod (saltfish) fritters
- Stew Peas, a coconut stew of red peas (kidney beans) which may be vegetarian or have pieces of meat added e.g. cured pig's tail
- Sugarcane, peeled, which is chewed to obtain the juice, or can be bought as bottled sugarcane juice
- Sweet potato
- Taro, locally known as dasheen and coco
- Taro dumpling
- Tripe and Beans
- Water crackers
- Acerola cherry
- Coconut- young green coconuts provide coconut water and jelly, while the older coconuts are grated to make jamaican desserts, sweets and coconut milk
- Custard Apple
- June Plum (Tahitian Apple)
- Mango, many species available locally. The popular species are locally called Stringy, Number 11, Julie, Tommy Atkins, Blackie, East Indian, Bombay and Graham.
- Naseberry (known as Sapodilla throughout the rest of the Caribbean)
- Otaheite Apple (Malay apple)
- Paw-Paw (Papaya)
- Passion fruit
Desserts and Sweets
- Blue Draws, also called tie-a-leaf because it is cooked in tied banana leaves
- Bulla cake
- Busta coconut sweets (Bustamante Backbone)
- Coconut Drops
- Cornmeal Pudding
- Devon House Ice Cream, a local ice-cream franchise which sports international favourites like vanilla ice cream, and tropical fruit ice cream flavours such as soursop, coconut, pineapple and mango.
- Grater cake
- Peanut Drops
- Plantain Tart
- Rock cake
- Sweet Potato Pudding
- Tamarind Balls, tamarind fruit rolled into balls and lightly coated with sugar
Herbs, Spices & Condiments
- Allspice berries, known locally as pimento
- Curry powder, Indian or Jamaican, which feature a blend of turmeric, coriander, fenugreek, cumin, allspice, black pepper and cloves. Turmeric is the predominant spice and accounts for curry powder's yellow colour.
- Jamaican jerk spice, a blend of spices featuring allspice, locally known as pimento
- Pickapeppa sauce
- Scotch bonnet pepper
- Soya sauce
- Thyme leaves
Soups play an important role in the Jamaican diet, not only as appetizers, but also as main lunch and dinner dishes because they are filling on their own with tubers/staples (such as yam, sweet potato, white potato, breadfruit, Jamaican boiled dumplings, dasheen and coco), vegetables (such as carrot, okra and cho-cho/chayote) and meat. Many Jamaican families enjoy soup on Saturday evenings for dinner. Soup is often had alone, with hard dough bread or tough Jamaican water crackers as accompaniment. Soups are almost always served piping hot.
- Chicken Foot Soup
- Conch or Janga (crayfish) Soup
- Cow cod soup
- Fish Tea
- Gungo Peas Soup, made with pigeon peas (locally known as gungo peas)
- Mannish Water
- Pepperpot Soup
- Red Peas Soup, made with kidney beans, pigstail, beef or chicken, tubers such as coco, yam, potato & sweet potato, vegetables and spices
Most Jamaicans begin the morning with a hot drink, either alone, with Jamaican tough water crackers, bread or along with a breakfast dish.
- Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
- Chocolate tea (Hot chocolate), traditionally made from chocolate balls
- Herbal Tea, using packaged tea bags or brewed from local herbs. The commonly consumed ones include ginger, cinammon and peppermint. These serve as accompaniment to breakfast dishes, or can be had with Jamaican water crackers as its own meal. Herbal teas are usually sweetened with sugar.
- LASCO Food Drinks, instant powdered drinks made by adding hot water, manufactured by the local company Lasco Manufacturers (Lasco Jamaica) with flavours such as vanilla, creamy malt, peanut punch and almond.
- Tea, popular brands include Tetley and Red Rose Tea.
These accompany meals, usually lunch or dinner. The alcoholic beverages are mainly consumed recreationally, however.
- Coconut Water
- Champagne cola, Ting or other carbonated soft drinks
- Fruit Juices, often made from local fruits such as pineapple, Otaheite apple, june plum (Tahitian apple), acerola cherry, mango and guava, or combined to make medleys such as guava-carrot and fruit punch.
- Ginger beer
- Jamaican rum
- Red Stripe beer
- Roots wine
- Sorrel (drink), made from Jamaican sorrel (roselle), is enjoyed all year round but also drunk around Christmas holidays as a Christmas drink. White rum or white wine is often added at Christmas.
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