My brother just came back from visiting his girlfriend who’s interning in Kingston, Jamaica for the summer. It sounds like a pretty groovy way to build your resume, but considering it was in the city’s public health administration, it may have been a little more involved than buying shell necklaces and lounging on the beach listening to reggae. I wish I had more to tell about an area I find really fascinating, but since I wasn’t there I only managed to glean these tidbits on Jamaica and its food:
Beef patties are commonly sold at two chains owned by Chinese shopkeeper families, Juici Patties, and Tastee Patties. Both entrepreneurs of these chains have won accolades for bolstering the economy in Jamaica, while Juici Patties has successfully entered the Canadian market (for some reason).
Jerk originated at Boston Beach in Portland Parish, Jamaica, and was largely unknown outside of Portland until the 1950’s. The dry rub mixture includes allspice and Scotch Bonnet peppers, and the meat is traditionally wrapped in banana leaves and cooked over Pimento wood. Today, most people tend to think it’s the most Jamaican thing ever beside Red Stripe beer.
The Jamaican national dish and common breakfast is “ackee and saltfish.” The ackee is the crazy fruit pictured above, related somewhat to lychee nuts, and to eat it requires taking out the poisonous big black seeds and de-veining the “bready” sections. It has a strange taste and a texture “like scrambled eggs.”
Mangosteen, all praises to flavor aside, you are totally yesterday’s elusive fruit.
(for more info on Jamaican dishes check out this tourism page on food)