12 Underrated Jamaican Dishes More People Should Try
A very important part of our Jamaican culture is the food. There are many menu items well known in Jamaican culture that people will almost always cook at home, ask for a restaurant / kitchen / food stall. Meanwhile, there are others that can be considered underestimated, I believe, because not many people have tried or because someone maybe tried once and didn’t like the way it was prepared in this case.
Here is a list of 12 underrated Jamaican foods that more people should try:
1- Curried tripe and beans – Cow tripe and beans are the main ingredients of this dish, seasoned with curry, coconut milk, peppers and chili berries along with other vegetables and spices. While this is a seemingly odd combination, it can be crowd-pleasing when done right.
2- Turn the cornmeal – a Jamaican classic made by cooking refined cornmeal in coconut milk and seasoned with different herbs and spices. It can be eaten on its own or served with your choice of protein.
3- Cow skin and peanut soup – the main ingredients are the meatballs, the cowhide and of course the peanuts. While not a very common soup choice, it is definitely a must-try on your next visit to St. Elizabeth, Jamaica.
4- Ramshackle mackerel – Salted mackerel first precooked to eliminate excess salt, then cooked in seasoned coconut milk in a thick sauce. You can have it with boiled green bananas and dumplings, fried dumplings or any side you want.
5- Ackee & Salted pork – Ackee and salted fish derive their popularity from being the national dish. In this case, salted fish is replaced by salted pork and can be eaten for breakfast or dinner.
6- Fried dumpling / Johnny Cakes – whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner, these crispy and chewy comfort foods can be paired with anything and will have everyone immediately fall in love.
7- Bully Beef & Rice – this easy, low budget meal is a quick fix for a weekday dinner. Add sweet corn to Bully Beef and take a pear slice (avocado) and enjoy!
8- Roasted yam & salted fish – this meal is a popular roadside food on the island and quite easy to obtain. The most common yam for this meal is yellow yam.
9- Twice Fried Plantains (Tostones) – popular accompaniment based on green plantains, which are fried, crushed / flattened and then fried, hence the name “twice fried”.
ten- Peas & Rice Stew – it can be done with meat or Italian for vegetarians / vegans. If you are serving with meat, pigtail and beef are generally the preferred choices.
11- Chicken Stew – chicken cooked in a brown sauce, to which some add potatoes and carrots. It can be eaten with boiled bananas and dumplings for breakfast or white rice for dinner.
12 – Salted fish and Susumba – Susumber otherwise known as “Gully beans”, is a green fruit that grows in the wild and is said to have medicinal properties. This savory stew is made with coconut milk seasoned with pepper, herbs and spices.
Photos – X. Murphy & Depot Photos