Oh boy, where do I start?

As a proud Jamaican, I simply can't contain my excitement when it comes to talking about our amazing food scene. If you haven't had the pleasure of trying Jamaican cuisine, you're truly missing out on some of the most flavorful and delicious dishes in the world.

From the fiery heat of jerk chicken to the sweet and savory blend of ackee and saltfish, Jamaican food has a unique flavor profile that sets it apart from anything else you've tried. And let me tell you, it's all thanks to our rich cultural heritage, with influences from Africa, India, and Europe. Take jerk seasoning for example, it's the epitome of these cultures coming together in perfect harmony.

Now, I know some of the terminology used in Jamaican cuisine may be a bit unfamiliar to some of you. Words like "jerk," "curry goat," and "ackee" are all essential parts of our cultural heritage, and I simply can't wait to delve into these terms and the dishes they represent.

So, whether you're a foodie, a traveler, or just someone with an interest in different cultures, I hope you'll join me on this culinary journey as we explore the exciting world of Jamaican cuisine and the unique words used to describe it. Let's get started, shall we?

Jerk chicken

A staple here in Jamaica, this dish is marinated in a blend of spices before grilling or smoking. This dish can be found at many local restaurants and street food stalls throughout the island.

What makes Jerk Chicken so special is its combination of bold flavors and heat. The juicy, tender chicken is infused with the flavors of allspice, thyme, and scotch bonnets, creating a delicious and unforgettable taste experience.

If you've never tried Jerk Chicken, I highly recommend giving it a try. Trust me, you won't regret it!.

Ackee and saltfish
img Ackee and Saltfish with fried dumplings

This is a traditional dish made with the ackee fruit and salted cod. It's a perfect blend of sweet and savory flavors that will have your taste buds dancing with joy. The ackee is sautéed with onions, tomatoes, and spices, and then paired with flaky saltfish to create a dish that is truly unforgettable.

This dish is often served as a breakfast or brunch meal, and it's the perfect way to start your day. It's usually served with rice, plantains, or boiled dumplings, and let me tell you, it's a flavor explosion in every bite.

Ackee and saltfish actually is the national dish of Jamaica and is a true representation of our unique blend of sweet and savory flavors.


A popular dish in the Caribbean, but especially in Jamaica, it's made from a leafy green vegetable that is similar to spinach known locally as callaloo. This vegetable is simmered with onions, garlic, and a blend of spices to create a stew that will warm your soul.

This dish is usually served as a side with rice and other Caribbean favorites, but it can also be used as a base for soups and stews. The best part? You can add various ingredients to give it a unique twist, like okra, crab meat, or even saltfish.

Curry Goat

A classic and beloved dish in Jamaican cuisine, It's made by slow-cooking tender and juicy goat meat in a spicy curry sauce filled with a blend of aromatic spices and herbs.

The end result is a dish that's bursting with flavor and will make your taste buds dance! It's often served with rice, roti, or another staple carbohydrate, and is a staple at many Jamaican family gatherings and celebrations.

Jamaican Oxtail Stew
img Oxtail with Butter Beans

Can I just tell you, Jamaican Oxtail Stew with Butter Beans is the BOMB! Like, seriously, it's the most famous Jamaican dish for a reason, and let me tell you, it's one of my all-time faves. But be warned, my love for this dish has gotten me into some sticky situations before - I just can't resist its deliciousness!

Now, let me tell you how it's made. This mouth-watering dish is created by slow cooking the tenderest oxtail in a sauce that's packed with flavor from a blend of spices, herbs, and sometimes a splash of red wine. It's then served up with rice and peas or another staple carbohydrate. It's the perfect dish for family gatherings and celebrations, and is a staple in many Jamaican households. Yum, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

Rice and Peas

Called “Rice and peas” but it’s actually made with beans! This dish is traditionally eaten every Sunday in most Jamaican households.

The secret to making the perfect Rice and Peas is using fresh coconut milk and that special blend of spices that'll have your taste buds dancing with joy. I mean, seriously, it's just the perfect side dish for any Jamaican meal. Trust me, you won't be disappointed!

Roast Breadfruit
img Breadfruit being roasted in a coal pot

You know what dish is a must-try for any true Jamaican foodie? Roast Breadfruit.

This dish is a staple in any real Jamaican culinary repertoire and packs a punch of delicious flavors that'll leave you wanting more.

The secret to getting that perfect roasted breadfruit is to slow-roast it over an open flame until it's perfectly tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. And let me tell you, once you've had it roasted like that, you'll never go back to any other way of cooking it.

Trust me, it's the perfect side dish for any Jamaican meal, or even as a main dish on its own. So, if you haven't tried it yet, what are you waiting for? Get to roasting some breadfruit!

Escoveitched Fish

This dish is just pure magic in your mouth! The fish is marinated in a blend of spices and vinegar, then fried to perfection and topped with a tangy and slightly spicy sauce. It's a flavor explosion in your mouth.

And let me tell you, there's just nothing like enjoying a plate of Escoveitched Fish with some hot, fluffy festival and a cold Red Stripe beer. It's the perfect combination for a true Jamaican feast. So, if you haven't tried it yet, it's time to add Escoveitched Fish to your foodie bucket list!

So there you have it, a little taste of what our local cuisine has to offer. Next time you're in Jamaica or near a Jamaican restaurants, be sure to give these dishes a try and let me know what you think!