10 Unique Food Experiences You Can Only Have in Jamaica

To travel is to eat, or at least that will be my philosophy. I enjoy writing about the places I visit as I seek to know my island better and escape my comfort zone ever so often, and it’s such a delight to hear feedback from both friends and strangers that reading my posts made them explore somewhere new which they probably wouldn’t have visited otherwise. I write as a local to help other locals and people who want to see Jamaica as a local, and it dawned on me recently that to experience a place is so much more than seeing the best of what it has to offer. It’s about eating and drinking the best of what it has to offer too!

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What It Means To Be Jamaican

I have more free time these next few weeks so my blog neglect will subside, at least until January 2018. Watching the sun set over the ocean yesterday and some healing solitude has got me reflecting. Part of that reflection entails what it means to be Jamaican since it’s Heroes’ Weekend after all so if not patriotism, at least staycations are in full swing.  I’m sort of doing both. Anyway, here’s my take for today: what being Jamaican means to me and why I’ll likely live here my whole life no matter how far and wide I eventually travel.

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Food Baby Aborted: What’s for Lunch?

Last month I expressed my dissatisfaction with the typical Jamaican lunch and the feedback was enlightening. I didn’t realize so many people were concerned about the portion distortion, nor experienced the distended abdomen (“food baby”) and sluggish feeling afterwards. My abdominal distention would last until night or even the next day sometimes and cause serious discomfort. If I wore tight-fitting clothing, within 30 minutes of lunch I appeared infanticipating. This is likely due to a myriad of factors: the stale recycled oil used to fry or stew the chicken, high MSG content, overeating bleached rice while rushing my meal in a short lunch break, high sodium content or even the sugar many cookshops are notorious for adding to rice and peas, chicken and gravies as their “secret ingredient.”  I finally decided to make a change although it’s still in progress.

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The Jamaican Box Lunch

“Sell me a rice and peas and fry chicken with curry gravy.”

“A curry goat and rice.”

“A jerk chicken and rice and peas.”

“A stew peas and rice.”

These are some of the daily options on the lunch menu of a Jamaican restaurant, tuck shop or corner shop.

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