Jamaica: Passion and Purity


Smoking and music usually is for these two items that you know Jamaica and many go there dazzled by this image which, although not exactly flattering, belongs to a postcard created specifically also from the tourism marketing. But there is also another Jamaica, outside the classic routes, particularly the wild eastern little touched by curious travellers that love to go beyond the clichés.

The Jamaican national dish, usually served for breakfast or brunch is ackee and salt fish. The ackee, a fruit that only grows in Jamaica, is the descendant of West Africa which is delicious when it is ripe and poisonous if unripe. Ackee once cooked, resembles the taste of scrambled eggs and is usually accompanied with the cod.

Another very popular dish on the island is the patty, a kind of fried calzone stuffed with beef, chicken or vegetables speziatissime, a quick snack that you buy in the bar or on the stalls. Ubiquitous among the street food also jerked meat or fish, marinated in a blend of onions, thyme, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper and cooked on the grill, in the manner of the buccaneers, in an open container over a fire of aromatic wood allspice.

The main dish to accompany the cuisine is the Jamaican Rice & peas, rice and red beans. Not exactly a first course, but an outline to meat, fish and vegetables and a great example as an accompaniment to jerk chicken. Among the first, excellent soups such as the exquisite pepperpot soup with allspice, callaloo, yam and coconut milk and callaloo soup, a simpler version of the tomatoes with shallots and thyme. And yet the pumpkin soup and red peas soup, made with red beans, are both spicy and very tasty.

Everything is great that comes from the sea from fish to shellfish cooked in various ways, simply grilled or processed in Creole recipes, sometimes with coconut milk. Very widespread escoveitch fish, fried fish in a sauce flavored with allspice and generally served with bammy, a kind of porridge of cassava. For meat lovers there are chicken, pork and goat curry.

And yet in addition to classic vegetables in Jamaica are those typical of these latitudes, from breadfruit: boiled, stewed or fried cho cho, a sort of large green pear with a wrap around pockmarked, which is boiled and served with butter.

And last but not least a triumph of tropical fruits including pineapple, mango, papaya, passion fruit and delicious desserts form the basis of many Jamaicans.

The landscape is dominated by a really incredible beauty, the beauty which was enchanted by the same Christopher Columbus, describing it the most beautiful island that human eyes have ever seen. One country, however, the story is not easy and not always crystal clear. And this land, so different from what is sometimes depicted simplistically, has always been in love with music.


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