Tag Archives: Jamaican Food

Calabash Ital Rastarant – Ocho Rios, Jamaica

If you want to try authentic Jamaican food with a twist, then you must try ‘Ital Food’. Nowadays following a ‘clean diet’ is all the rage, but Ital food has been following these principles since its inception. Tasty, healthy, Vegetarian and Vegan dishes are cooked with a flair that is innately Jamaican. Calabash Ital Rastarant is located in Ocho Rios town centre and offers a selection of dishes for breakfast, through lunch and to dinnertime and beyond.

Calabash Ital Rastarant

I am a Vegetarian, so it is a real treat to go to a restaurant where I can choose anything off the menu. Calabash Ital Rastarant is one of my favourite Vegetarian eating spots in Ocho Rios because of the sheer choice and my hardcore meat eating friends love it here too. They have a wide and varied menu with a lot of familiar Jamaican dishes cooked in a meat free format. Including, Vege Chunks, Tofu, Steamed Vegetables, Curried Chickpeas, Ackee, Porridge, Soups, Stews, Vege Burgers and more. If you can’t decide what to order ask for a mixed box, this is a selection of all the different foods cooked on the day served with rice and peas, or hard food (boiled provisions). The food is fresh and delicious and surprisingly affordable. The restaurant has a clean seating area inside and a few tables out on the balcony, alternatively you can buy take away food and they even do delivery in the Ocho Rios region. They have a selection of natural juices on offer too alongside coconut water and other beverages.

Calabash also sell natural products, supplements, t-shirts, incense, accessories, DVD’s, books, posters and beauty products to name a few of the items on offer.

 

Calabash Ital Rastarant Location and Opening Hours

Shop 8
7 James Avenue
Ocho Rios
Jamaica

Telephone Number: 876-570-5565

Calabash also offer a delivery service in the Ocho Rios region.

Opening Hours

Mondays to Thursday  7:00am- 10:30pm

Friday and Saturday  7:00am- 11:30pm

Sunday  9:00am- 9:00pm

 

Calabash Ital Rastarant
Calabash Ital Rastarant

Food Prices at Calabash Ital Rastarant

  • $380 small food
  • $450 medium food
  • $500 large food

What is ‘Ital Food’?

The word ‘Ital’ is derived from the word vital. As Rastafari believe that food and the health and well being of the consumer are all connected. It is part of the faith of the Rastafari in Jamaica and there are certain ‘rules’ of preparing, serving and cooking certain foods stuffs. ‘Ital Food’ is Vegetarian and Vegan based and is considered a ‘clean’ diet, as it contains no preservatives, colourings, flavourings, tinned foods and in many cases even salt is omitted. The food is delicious, fresh and full of nutrients to increase ‘Livity’, or our life energy.

 

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Two Jamaican Breadfruit Recipes

How to Cook a Breadfruit

Some Jamaican’s believe that eating Breadfruit makes you ‘fraid, or plainly put a coward. However, whether this ‘ol time saying is true or not, I simply love cooking and eating Breadfruit. I have included two Jamaican recipes for roasted and fried breadfruit, that I am sure will keep you coming back for more. Breadfruit can be roasted in the oven, or better still on a fire or barbecue for the real smoky flavour. Afterwards you can remove the heart and slice it into segments, rubbing on a little seasoning before frying it. Trust me, this is so good your belly will buss before you can stop eating it!

 

You Will Need:

  • A long sharp knife
  • An oven, fire pit or barbecue

Ingredients:

  • A good roasting Breadfruit

How to Make Sure the Breadfruit is Good for Roasting…

  1. It should be firm to the touch with a little give when squeezed
  2. Look out for a yellowish colour between the green ‘scales’ of the skin
  3. There are white deposits on the skin

Method:

  • Take a long sharp knife to cut out the stalk of the breadfruit
  • Cut a ‘square’ around the stalk, digging in the knife at an angle to release around two inches into the heart in a ‘v’ shape
  • Cut a cross in the bottom of the breadfruit around 1″ deep to help release steam inside
  • Place on a grill over a fire, in an oven or barbecue
  • Turn the Breadfruit until all sides are blackened and the breadfruit lets out a clean knife when pierced in either end (in the holes)
  • Remove from the fire
  • Wait until it cools and wearing gloves to prevent the hands getting all sooty, use a long knife to cut off the blackened skin
  • Don’t cut too deep to waste the Breadfruit, just enough to remove the blackened outer skin
  • Cut in quarters along the length of the Breadfruit (like an Orange segment) and cut out the heart and the little seeds, discard
  • Eat the roasted Breadfruit as it is… Yummy!

 

Jamaican Fried Breadfruit Recipe

You Will Need:

  • A long sharp knife
  • A frying pan or dutch pot
  • A chopping board
  • A dish to season the Breadfruit

Ingredients:

  • A roasted Breadfruit
  • Dried seasoning; Salt, Black Pepper and Paprika
  • Cooking Oil

 

 

Method:

  • Cut the Breadfruit in quarters along the length, cut out the heart and discard it
  • Using a long knife, cut the quarters into segments around 1″ thick
  • Sprinkle a little of the mixed seasoning in a dish
  • Lightly rub the seasoning on both sides of the Breadfruit slices and drop them into the hot oil
  • Fry on both sides until golden, remove draining on a sheet of paper towelling
  • Serve… So, so, so delicious and a great alternative to fries

WARNING! This recipe for Fried Breadfruit is highly addictive!

You can eat this fried Breadfruit on its own, it is so delicious. Or, if you feeling a little more hungry why not try it with my Jamaican Recipes for:

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Roasted and Fried Breadfruit Slices
Roasted and Fried Breadfruit Slices

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Jamaican Fried Plantain Recipe

Fried ripe (yellow) Plantain are a Caribbean favourite and they always go down well as an accompaniment, or side order to other meals. You can even eat them as a snack squashed between slices of bread. This quick and easy Jamaican recipe will be a crowd pleaser for all ages, as the sweet fried Plantains taste so good!

It is best to use a fairly ripe plantain, which has blackened or at least has some black spots on the yellow skin, this will determine the sweetness when fried. I personally do not like over ripe Plantain, so I go for a firm (but not overly tough) Plantain with a bit of give in it when squeezed. However, some people love to fry them when the skins have turned totally black and the Plantain is soft and squidgy.

Peel the Plantain
Peel the Plantain

Throughly wash your hands and scrub underneath your nails if you can. Gather all your ingredients and cooking implements together and put them on the counter top so you have everything within reach and you will also save time and make it easier for yourself.

[icon icon_name=”star”] You Will Need:

  • Chopping Board
  • Sharp Knife
  • Frying pan or Dutch Pot

[icon icon_name=”star”] Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe Plantains
  • Enough cooking oil to lightly cover the bottom of the vessel used for frying
  • Sprinkle of Salt to taste
Plantain diagonally
Plantain diagonally

[icon icon_name=”star”] Method:

  • Peel Plantain and placing it on a chopping board use the knife to cut on the diagonal, so that you get ‘wide’ slices about 1cm thick
  • Pour enough oil to cover the bottom of the vessel, approx. 1cm deep, heat on a medium heat until the oil is hot
  • Carefully add the sliced Plantain and fry on both sides until browned
  • Sprinkle salt over Plantain to taste (optional)
  • Remove from heat and serve

Fried Plantain can be enjoyed as an accompaniment to almost any meal (except soup?!) and are enjoyed throughout the day. Try them with Jamaican Brown Stew Fish, Jamaican Escovitch Fish, Red Herring and Hard Food, Ackee and Saltfish, Steamed Callaloo, Fried Dumplings, Jamaican Rice and Peas, Saltfish Fritters (Stamp and Go), or add them to a fried egg sandwich… Yum!

Fry the Plantain on both sides
Fry the Plantain on both sides

Jamaican Brown Stew Fish Recipe

Jamaican’s love to have gravy with their food, so brown stew (cooked in gravy) anything is always well received. This easy recipe for Brown Stew Fish  makes a healthy and hearty meal especially if served with another Jamaican favourite ‘Hard Food’ (boiled provisions). It is an ideal dinner idea if you are looking for a tasty Jamaican recipe for you and the family.

 [icon icon_name=”star”] You will Need:

  • a large bowl for the fish
  • a sharp knife and chopping board to prepare the seasoning
  • a Dutch Pot or large frying pan to fry the seasoning and fish

Throughly wash your hands and scrub underneath your nails if you can. Gather all your ingredients and cooking implements together and put them on the counter top so you have everything within reach and you will also save time and make it easier for yourself.

If you want to eat this with Hard Food, as shown above you can find the recipe here.

 

 [icon icon_name=”star”] Ingredients:

  • 1-2 whole fish or 3-4 pieces of sliced fish
  • 1 onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 escallion, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 1-2 pegs of garlic, peeled and mashed or thinly diced
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1/4 green sweet pepper (optional), de-seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 tomato, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into rounds or thin strips (Julienne)
  • 1 lime, or splash or two of vinegar (to clean fish)
  • Dry seasoning, I usually use a few shakes of each, say 1/2 to 1 tsp of each: ground black pepper, all-purpose seasoning, garlic powder, fish seasoning and paprika
  • Salt to taste
  • Ketchup, squirt or two to taste and thicken gravy
  • Water, 1-2 cups boiled or cold

If you want to eat this with Hard Food, as shown above you can find the recipe here.

 [icon icon_name=”star”] Method:

  • De-scale and clean your fish; firmly hold the fish and scrape a sharp knife along the flesh without breaking it. Moving against the direction of the scales until they pop off (this can be messy so do outside or over a clean and empty sink). The skin will feel smooth and slippery when all the scales have been removed.
  • Clean away any blood and guts and clean thoroughly in water and lime juice, or a little vinegar, rinse, shake dry and place in a clean bowl.

 

  • Wash wet seasoning, including thyme and thinly slice onion, escallion, garlic, scotch bonnet pepper and sweet pepper adding to the washed fish
  • Add dry seasoning, ground black pepper, all-purpose seasoning, garlic powder, fish seasoning and paprika to the mixture and stir until the fish is completely covered in the combined wet and dry seasonings. It should take on colour all over the flesh once sufficiently mixed. Leave to marinade for up to a day if time permits, if not, even 30 minutes marinade is better than nothing!
  • Once the fish has marinated, stab each piece with a fork and using a second implement carefully remove any attached seasoning (vegetable matter only) from the fish whilst holding it over the bowl. Do NOT throw this vegetable matter away as it will form the gravy.
  • Set on a dutch pot, or other deep heavy bottomed pot with enough oil to cover the bottom of the pot by about 1/2 inch. Leave to get very hot on a medium to low heat. Once the oil is clear and crackling add the prepared fish to the oil, browning on both sides for about 2-3 minutes and set aside.
  • To prevent the gravy becoming too greasy you only want a light covering of oil on the bottom of the pot to fry the seasoning, so carefully remove any excess oil and leave in a heat-resistant receptacle to cool. PLEASE do NOT leave where children can pull it over themselves!
  • Turn down the heat a bit and add fresh sliced tomato and all the other seasoning used to marinade the fish (thyme, onion, escallion, garlic, scotch bonnet pepper and sweet pepper) to the oil, saving any ‘water’ in the bowl for later.
  • Gently fry until softened, which should take about 3-4 minutes on a low to medium flame.
  • Add 1-2 cups of water to the dutch pot (can be cold or boiled), plus any liquid from the bowl the fish marinated in. Add the peeled and sliced carrots and cover.
  • Gently bowl liquid until carrots cook and the liquid reduces to form a thicker gravy, which should take about 10 – 15 minutes. Taste gravy to make sure of depth of taste and add salt and ketchup to your taste.
  • Once the gravy has thickened to suit, gently add fried fish cover and simmer for a minute or two to reheat fish right through.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

 

Add the fried fish to the gravy
Add the fried fish to the gravy

If you want to eat this dish with hard food then you can follow the recipe here. If you do not have time to season the fish ahead of time, I would recommend seasoning the fish first and leaving it to marinade, prior to preparing the hard food. This will make sure the flavour of the fish is right to the bone and the taste will be ‘lick finger’!

Jamaican Potato Salad Recipe

 

[text_justify] This Jamaican Potato Salad recipe is delicious and easy to make. Like the Jamaican Coleslaw, it makes a great accompaniment to anything and everything (except soup!) and is the perfect dish for a barbecue too.[text_justify]

[text_justify]Potato Salad in Jamaica has a few unusual ingredients that you don’t normally find used in the UK. But, these new additions makes for a dreamy combination that tastes so delicious I have never looked back…. Enjoy![/text_justify]

 

Jamaican Potato Salad Ingredients
Jamaican Potato Salad Ingredients

 

[icon icon_name=”star”] You will need:

[list style=”1″ underline=”1″]

  • a large bowl to mix the ingredients (I use a smaller clean bowl to serve, once all the messy sauce has been stirred in)
  • Pots (saucepans) to boil potato, green garden peas and the eggs (I would recommend boiling the ingredients separately!)
  • a jug or deep sided dish to mix the sauce
  • a big spoon to mix

[/list]

 

[text_justify]Throughly wash your hands and scrub underneath your nails if you can. Gather all your ingredients and cooking implements together and put them on the counter top so you have everything within reach and you will also save time and make it easier for yourself.[text_justify]

 

[icon icon_name=”star”] Ingredients

[list style=”1″ underline=”1″]

  • 4 large (Irish) Potatoes
  • 1 cup of green garden Peas (I used frozen)
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 2 stalks of Escallion (spring onion)
  •  2 large tablespoons of Mayonnaise
  • 2 large tablespoons of Salad Cream (can be omitted if preferred or unavailable)
  • 1 teaspoon of Mustard (I used English Mustard)
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Salt for boiling vegetables

[/list]

[text_center]Makes about 6 cups of Jamaican Potato Salad – Takes about 30 minutes to prepare; if you want to make more,  just increase the amount of the ingredients to enjoy this delicious Jamaican food.[/text_center]

 

Add all Ingredients to a Dish
Add all Ingredients to a Dish

 

[icon icon_name=”star”] Method

[list style=”1″ underline=”1″]

  • Set on a large pot (saucepan) half filled with water, to boil – add salt and pot cover (saucepan lid).
  • Peel the Potato and cut into bite sized cubes, rinse in clean water and add to boiling water.
  • Add garden peas to a smaller pot (saucepan), cover and set to simmer.
  • Add eggs to smaller pot (saucepan), cover and set to simmer.
  • Once potato, garden peas and eggs are cooked (test potato with a knife – it should go through the potato easily) drain hot water and replace with cool water.
  • Drain cold water from potato and put pot (saucepan) back on the hob, for about 1 minute, to dry out potato; continually ‘swirl’ potato to stop it from sticking or burning. Once it has a fluffy texture on the outside, remove and place in bowl and leave to cool.
  • Drain garden peas and allow to dry and cool, before adding to potato.
  • Peel eggs – knock shells on countertop all over the egg as it is easier to peel skin off. Once cooled slice into small pieces and add to potato and peas.
  • Cut off the roots and raggedy tips of the escallion (spring onion), rinse well in clean water and chop, add to potato mix.
  • In a separate jug mix all the other ingredients together, taste with a clean and separate spoon, to make sure it is tangy enough for your palate!
  • Pour ‘sauce’ onto prepared potato mix and stir until it is evenly distributed throughout the Potato Salad.
  • Either serve immediately with your meal, or cover and leave in a cool place (especially if you are in the tropical heat of Jamaica!)
  • If kept in the fridge, this Potato Salad can last about 3 days… If it doesn’t all get eaten on the day.
  • Enjoy!

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If you enjoyed this recipe and want to try more delicious Jamaican food, click here for more easy, filling and nutritious Caribbean food recipes[button style=”1″ caption=” Jamaican Food” link=https://sweetjamaica.co.uk/category/jamaican-food-and-drink/jamaican-recipes/[/button]

 

Jamaican Coleslaw Recipe

 

[text_justify] This Jamaican Coleslaw recipe is delicious and easy to make. It makes a great accompaniment to anything and everything (except soup!) and is the perfect dish for a barbecue too.[text_justify]

[text_justify]In Jamaica it is common to see a cabbage based side order featured on the menu, as it is much cheaper and more readily available than lettuce. This recipe takes the humble cabbage to a place of glory, nestled together with its healthy vegetable friends and covered in a tangy sauce, it won’t last long on the table!……. Enjoy![/text_justify]

 

[icon icon_name=”star”] You will need:

[list style=”1″ underline=”1″]

  • a large bowl to shred the ingredients (I use a smaller clean bowl to serve, once all the messy sauce has been stirred in)
  • a fine grater, or blender
  • a jug or deep sided dish to mix the sauce
  • a big spoon to mix

[/list]

 

[text_justify]Throughly wash your hands and scrub underneath your nails if you can. Gather all your ingredients and cooking implements together and put them on the counter top so you have everything within reach and you will also save time and make it easier for yourself.[text_justify]

 

Jamaican Coleslaw Ingredients
Jamaican Coleslaw Ingredients

[icon icon_name=”star”] Ingredients

[list style=”1″ underline=”1″]

  • 4 Cups of grated / shredded Cabbage
  • 2 Cups of grated / shredded Onion
  • 1 1/2 Cups of grated / shredded Carrot
  • 4 large tablespoons of Mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons of Crème Fraiche, or Sour Cream (can be omitted if preferred or unavailable)
  • 2 teaspoons of Mustard (I used English Mustard)
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of Sugar (can be omitted if preferred)
  • 2 – 4 tablespoons of Vinegar

[/list]

[text_center]Makes about 6 cups of Jamaican Coleslaw – Takes about 20 minutes to prepare; if you want to make more,  just increase the amount of the ingredients to enjoy this delicious Jamaican food. If you want more kick and a spicier flavour, simply add more onions and mustard…. But add slowly and with caution![/text_center]

 

Jamaican Coleslaw Wet Ingredients
Jamaican Coleslaw Wet Ingredients

 

[icon icon_name=”star”] Method

[list style=”1″ underline=”1″]

  • Cut about half a cabbage into smallish chunks and wash in clean water – drain and add to blender / or grate.
  • Blend cabbage in short blasts until you get the consistency you like, remove from blender and measure until you have 4 cups; add to bowl.
  • Peel 2 carrots, cut into smallish chunks and wash in clean water – drain and add to blender  / or grate.
  • Blend carrots in short blasts until you get the consistency to match the size of the shredded cabbage, remove from blender and measure until you have 1 and 1/2 cups; add to bowl.
  • Peel the skin and ‘top and tail’ off of a large onion, cut into smallish chunks and wash in clean water – drain and add to blender / or chop into small pieces (I don’t recommend grating onions, as the juice goes everywhere and makes your eyes red and watery!).
  • Blend onion in short blasts until you get the consistency to match the size of the shredded cabbage and carrots, remove from blender and measure until you have 2 cups; add to bowl. Some people prefer to blend the onion for less time which creates slightly larger pieces than the cabbage and carrots which gives more of a kick to the coleslaw.
  • You may need to add more of the vegetable ingredients to the blender until you have the required amounts of each kind.
  • In a separate jug mix all the other ingredients together, taste with a clean and separate spoon, to make sure it is tangy enough for your palate!
  • Pour ‘sauce’ onto prepared vegetables and stir until it is evenly distributed throughout the Coleslaw.
  • Either serve immediately with your meal, or cover and leave in a cool place (especially if you are in the tropical heat of Jamaica!)
  • If kept in the fridge, this Coleslaw can last about 3 days… If it doesn’t all get eaten on the day.
  • Enjoy!

[/list]

 

Jamaican Coleslaw Mix Ingredients
Jamaican Coleslaw Mix Ingredients

 

If you enjoyed this recipe and want to try more delicious Jamaican food, click here for more easy, filling and nutritious Caribbean food recipes[button style=”1″ caption=” Jamaican Food” link=https://sweetjamaica.co.uk/category/jamaican-food-and-drink/jamaican-recipes/[/button]

 

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Looking forward to hearing from you.

Bless up, Jules

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Jamaican Rice and Peas Recipe

Jamaican Rice and Peas Recipe

Sunday wouldn’t be Sunday without ‘Rice and Peas’ on the menu, however this delicious coconut based rice dish is a Jamaican tradition that can be cooked and savoured on any day of the week…

If  ‘Ackee and Saltfish’ is the National dish of Jamaica, then ‘Rice and Peas’ should be the known as the ‘Coat of Arms’. Rich, coco-nutty, wholesome and nourishing, Jamaican’s ‘dere a yard, or dere a foreign’ love to eat Rice and Peas, whether served at home, or at the cook shop.

The preparation for this dish starts on Saturday night when the peas (kidney beans / red beans) are washed and left to soak overnight in water infused with garlic. In the morning when the peas are set on to boil, the dry coconut is grated and the milk is drawn, then the magic really begins when the scent of seasoning and coconut milk start to fill the air as it is added to the red peas….Mmmmm! Enjoy!

 

Rice and Peas Seasoning
Rice and Peas Seasoning

 

 How to Cook Jamaican Rice and Peas

First things first, thoroughly wash your hands and scrub underneath your nails if you can. Gather all your ingredients and cooking implements together and put them on the counter top so you have everything within reach and you will also save time and make it easier for yourself.

You will need:

  • a large pot to soak red peas and cook rice / or a pressure cooker
  • a chopping board and sharp knife
  • A sieve / strainer to wash the rice

 

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of rice (I prefer basmati rice)
  • 1 cup dried red peas (kidney beans / red beans) – You can use tinned instead, just don’t soak and over boil them!
  • 2-3 stalks of escallion (spring onion)
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 peg Garlic
  • 1 sprig Thyme
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter / margarine
  • Milk from 1 dry coconut (see Coconut Milk recipe) Or, 1 pack of Coconut Milk Powder, or,  1 tin of coconut milk
  • Water; Combined liquids should make up about 6 cups
  • 1 Knorr style vegetable stock cube, optional but recommended for a fuller flavour

 

Recipe Notes:

If you don’t have a dry coconut to hand, then I would recommend using Coconut Powder, both Grace and Maggi have a great substitute.

You can use tinned red peas (kidney beans) if necessary, but they don’t turn the cooking water very red and aren’t quite as nice as using the dried variety.

Serves 6 people – Takes about 10 minutes to prepare and up to 2 hours to cook; if you want to feed more people,  just increase the quantities to enjoy this delicious Jamaican food.

If preferred you can cook the peas in a pressure cooker from dried, in about 45  – 60 minutes, which saves time and energy, plus it also gives a great colour to the finished rice.
Let’s Start Cooking!…

Method for Cooking Jamaican Rice and Peas

 

Stage One

 

  • Thoroughly wash the red peas (kidney beans) and discard the water
  • Place the red peas into the pot you intend to cook the rice and peas in, add about 4 cups of water and the diced garlic, cover the pot and preferably leave overnight, or for at least 2 hours – until the peas have swelled
  • Once the peas have swelled, the water should have turned a reddish hue, which will colour the rice when it is cooked; I feel by soaking the peas overnight, or using the pressure cooker, you get a better colour to the finished dish and you don’t have to boil them as long saving energy
  • DO NOT discard the reddish coloured water the peas have soaked in as this helps to colour the finished dish!!

 

Stage Two

  • Once the red peas have swelled, set them on to boil in the same reddish coloured water and cover the pot. Regularly check the pot and do not allow to boil dry – add more water if necessary, but not too much as coconut milk will be added later
  • Wash the seasoning, then crush the escallion stalks, slice the tomato thinly and put to one side, with the sprig of thyme and the whole Scotch Bonnet Pepper
  • Make the coconut milk (recipe can be found on blog) and set aside
  • Boil the red peas until almost soft – around 30 – 40 minutes
  • Add the coconut milk to the pot and stir in with a fork to finish cooking the peas  – test the peas are cooked by removing one from the pot and see if you can crush with a fork; usually after about 45 minutes to an hour (if left to soak overnight) turn down the pot a little to a simmer
  • Add the sprig of thyme, escallion, tomato, salt, a good-sized knob of butter, whole Scotch Bonnet Pepper (if possible leave on the stalk and do not cut or pierce the pepper) and stock cube to the pot and lightly boil until seasoning is soft
  • Wash the rice thoroughly and add to the pot, the liquid level should be about 1 inch above the height of the rice and peas
  • Carefully and lightly stir with a fork to mix the peas through the rice, be careful not to burst the pepper. Turn down the heat and cover the pot and leave to steam
  • Steam until the rice is tender and all the liquid is gone – you can tell if the water has been absorbed as the top of the rice will be ‘pitted’; around 30 minutes
  • If you do feel the need to stir the pot again, only use a fork – do not use a spoon and do not over mix, or it will turn into rice pudding / risotto…
  • If the rice is still hard and the pot is dry, turn down the heat a bit and carefully wrap some cling-film (plastic wrap) over the top of the pot, leaving the pot to sweat, the condensation created in the pot will usually finish cooking the rice to perfection (a plastic bag or even tinfoil can be used if cling-film is not available)
  • Serve and enjoy!

 

This Jamaican Rice and Peas Recipe can be enjoyed with:

Brown Stew Fish

Ackee and Saltfish

Fried Escovitch Fish

Steamed Cabbage

Steamed Callaloo

 

If you enjoyed this Jamaican recipe and want to try more delicious Jamaican food, click the link for more easy, filling and nutritious Jamaican food recipes.

 

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Like our FaceBook Page

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Looking forward to hearing from you.

Walk Good, Jules

 

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Coconut Milk Recipe

 

[text_justify]Coconut Milk is used in many Jamaican recipes, such as ‘Rice and Peas’ and ‘Mackerel Rundown’ and with a little effort it is easy to make if you have a dry coconut available…[text_justify]

[text_justify]Coconuts are plentiful in Jamaica, but if you don’t have a tree near to where you live, they can be bought in markets and supermarkets instead. Fresh coconut milk tastes better than the processed varieties and can be fun to prepare, even if it is a bit time-consuming…. Enjoy![/text_justify]

 

[icon icon_name=”star”] You will need:

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  • a large bowl to grate the coconut
  • a fine grater, or blender
  • a strainer and / or, muslin cloth
  • Jug to collect milk

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[text_justify]Throughly wash your hands and scrub underneath your nails if you can. Gather all your ingredients and cooking implements together and put them on the counter top so you have everything within reach and you will also save time and make it easier for yourself.[text_justify]

 

Finely Grate the Coconut
Finely Grate the Coconut

 

[icon icon_name=”star”] Ingredients

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  • 1 large dry coconut
  • Water

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[text_center]Makes about 2-3 cups of coconut milk, dependant on strength required – Takes about 30 minutes to prepare; if you want to make more,  just increase the amount of coconuts to enjoy this delicious Jamaican food…[/text_center]

[icon icon_name=”star”] Method

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  • Pierce one of the eyes of the coconut and drain out the water, set aside to drink later (chill in fridge)
  • Crack open the coconut and carefully extract the white coconut flesh, try to cut it out in large pieces, especially if you are using a grater as it is easier to hold (and to save your fingers!)
  • Grate the coconut and add 2 cups of water, or add the pieces of coconut to a blender, add the water and blend
  • Squeeze the mixture through a strainer, or place a piece of clean muslin cloth over a bowl, place mixture in the middle, gather up the edges to create a ball and squeeze the liquid through the muslin into a jug, repeat several times to extract the milk fully
  • Enjoy!

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Fresh Coconut Milk
Fresh Coconut Milk

 

Why not try using this Coconut Milk Recipe for ‘Rice and Peas’? Click the button for the recipe:[button style=”1″ caption=” Rice and Peas” link=https://sweetjamaica.co.uk/jamaican-rice-and-peas-recipe/[/button]

 

If you enjoyed this Jamaican recipe and want to try more delicious Jamaican food, click here for more easy, filling and nutritious Caribbean food recipes[button style=”1″ caption=” Jamaican Food” link=https://sweetjamaica.co.uk/category/jamaican-food-and-drink/jamaican-recipes/[/button]

 

Ackee and Saltfish Recipe

 

 

 

[text_justify]Ackee and Saltfish is the celebrated National Dish of Jamaica and is much-loved for breakfast, lunch or dinner, it’s easy to prepare and a pleasure to eat…[/text_justify]

[text_justify]If you are on a visit to Jamaica you will be able to use fresh Ackee in this recipe, but if you are out of the region you can make use of canned Ackee which is widely available in Caribbean food stores.[/text_justify]

[text_justify]When using fresh Ackee make sure the red pods have burst open revealing the black seeds and yellow fruits,  so the naturally occurring poisonous gas is expelled from inside. Pull the yellow fruits from the open pods, remove the black seeds and pink lining from the Ackee and you are ready to cook and enjoy it.[/text_justify]

[text_justify]This dish can be eaten at anytime of the day and can be enjoyed with many accompaniments, such as, fried dumplings, breadfruit, hard food, pear (avocado), fried plantain, white rice or rice and peas…. Enjoy![/text_justify]

 

 

[icon icon_name=”star”] You will need:

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  • a large bowl to hold the Ackee
  • a chopping board and sharp knife
  • 2 pots (saucepans) with covers
  • a Dutch Pot or large frying pan

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[text_justify]Throughly wash your hands and scrub underneath your nails if you can. Gather all your ingredients and cooking implements together and put them on the counter top so you have everything within reach and you will also save time and make it easier for yourself.[/text_justify]

 

[icon icon_name=”star”] Ingredients

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  • 1 pack Saltfish
  • 12 Ackee pods (or more if liked) or 1 tin
  • 1/2 Green Pepper (Sweet Pepper)
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 tomato
  • 1 peg Garlic
  • 1 sprig Thyme
  • Black pepper to taste
  • little sugar (to boil saltfish)
  • ¾ Cup Cooking Oil, or enough to cover bottom of pot

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[text_center]Serves 4 people – Takes about 40 minutes to prepare (if using fresh Ackee) and another 20 minutes to cook; if you want to feed more people,  just increase the quantities to enjoy this delicious Jamaican food…[/text_center]

 

 

[icon icon_name=”star”] Stage One

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  • Wash off the saltfish in clean water and place in a pot (saucepan) cover with water, add a little sugar and set on to boil. Leave to boil for about 10-15 minutes, drain the water off and repeat the process until majority of salt is removed, but before saltfish tastes too  ‘fresh’ – If you prefer and have more time you can leave the saltfish to soak in clean water overnight instead of boiling it
  • Flake saltfish and set aside
  • If using fresh Ackee prepare for cooking by removing them from the pods, twist off and discard the shiny black seeds cutting away any remnants and discard the pink lining, lightly rinse – If using tin Ackee, drain from tin and set aside
  • Place (fresh) Ackee into salted boiling water for about 20 minutes and carefully drain (do not boil tin Ackee)
  • Set on the dutch pot and add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan
  • Wash and Chop seasoning add to heated oil and lightly fry
  • Add flaked saltfish to the seasoning stir mixture to lightly brown saltfish
  • Carefully add the Ackee to the mixture and turn over to keep Ackee intact
  • Add black pepper to taste
  • Warm mixture through and serve with an accompaniment– Enjoy!
  • ! Please remember that the pot and any remaining oil will stay hot for a long time – Move away from the front of the oven and leave somewhere where children cannot pull it over them until fully cooled

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Why not try Ackee and Saltfish with…

[button style=”1″ caption=”Fried Dumplings” link=https://sweetjamaica.co.uk/cook-fried-dumplings/[/button]

[button style=”1″ caption=”Boiled Hard Food” link=https://sweetjamaica.co.uk/jamaican-food-red-herring-and-hard-food-recipe/[/button]

If you enjoyed this Jamaican recipe and want to try more delicious Jamaican food, click the button for more easy, filling and nutritious Caribbean food recipes[button style=”1″ caption=” Jamaican Food” link=https://sweetjamaica.co.uk/category/jamaican-food-and-drink/jamaican-recipes/[/button]

 

Jamaican Steamed Callaloo Recipe

 

[text_justify]Steamed Callaloo is both delicious and nutritious and is quick and easy to prepare, you can enjoy this dish with fried dumplings, rice or hard food…[text_justify]

[text_justify]Callaloo is often compared to spinach, but is much more widely available and consumed in Jamaica. It is often eaten as a breakfast dish with fried dumplings, or as a Vegan / Vegetarian dinner idea with rice or hard food.  [text_justify]

 

 [icon icon_name=”star”] You will need:

[list style=”1″ underline=”1″]

  • a large bowl to wash the vegetables
  • a sharp knife and chopping  board
  • a Dutch Pot or large pot to steam the callaloo

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[text_justify]Thoroughly wash your hands and scrub underneath your nails if you can. Gather all your ingredients and cooking implements together and put them on the counter top so you have everything within reach and you will also save time and make it easier for yourself.[text_justify]

 

[icon icon_name=”star”] Ingredients

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  • 6-8 stems of Callaloo
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • Other vegetables if available, such as carrots and string beans – cut up into thin slices
  • 1/3 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 teaspoon Butter or Margarine
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • Glug of water

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[text_center]Serves 4 people – Takes about 10 minutes to prepare and another 20 minutes to cook; if you want to feed more people, just increase the quantities to enjoy this delicious Jamaican food…[/text_center]

 

 

[icon icon_name=”star”] Method

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  • Set on your Pot to Electric Mark 3 and leave for about 1-2 minutes to warm up, then carefully add cooking oil and leave to heat up (Keep children away from the Hob)
  • Put the Callaloo in a large bowl and cover with water, adding a little salt to the water encourages any stray bugs to unlatch themselves
  • Meanwhile wash and chop up the onion, tomato, garlic, thyme and other vegetables if desired
  • Add the chopped seasoning to the oil and lightly fry until softened
  • Take the callaloo out of the water and pick off any unsavoury parts of the leaves, remove flowers if present and discard. Cut off the end of the stalk and peel off the outer layer of the ‘skin’ on the stem – it is not necessary to remove every piece.
  • Roll the leaves together to make it easier to handle and using a sharp knife cut the callaloo into thin ribbons. Cut right down the stalk and include this in with the leaves
  • Turn down the hob to Electric Mark 2
  • Add a little water to the pot and add the chopped up callaloo and carrots / string beans if desired – do not add too much water as the callaloo will produce water as it wilts
  • Sprinkle on a little salt and pepper to taste and the butter and cover the pot
  • Steam for about 15-20 minutes, or until the callaloo has wilted
  • Remove from pot and serve with bread, fried dumplings, boiled hard food, rice or other

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Steamed Callaloo ready to serve
Steamed Callaloo ready to serve

 

[icon icon_name=”star”] [text_justify]If you prepare the ingredients in the same way the raw callaloo and seasoning mixture can be used to stuff the cavity in fish once it has been gutted. Fish needs to be de-scaled, gutted and thoroughly washed with lime and water.  Make some slashes on both sides of the fish with a knife but do not cut right through the flesh. Stuff the cavity with the callaloo mixture, rub some dry seasoning on the skin and add a blob of butter. Wrap the fish in tin foil and place in the oven, fire or Bar-B-Q until cooked… Yummy! [text_justify]

 

[text_justify]If you enjoyed this Jamaican recipe and want to try more delicious Jamaican food, click the button below for more easy, filling and nutritious Caribbean food recipes[button style=”1″ caption=” Jamaican Food” link=https://sweetjamaica.co.uk/category/jamaican-food-and-drink/jamaican-recipes/[/button] [text_justify]

Cook Fried Dumplings

Jamaican Fried Dumplings

Fried Dumplings are a Jamaican favourite that are easy to make and which can be served at anytime of the day. Enjoy your fried dumplings with a whole host of different accompaniments, or even as a tasty snack on their own…

I have to admit I am a lover of Jamaican dumplings and I’m not fussy which kind I get. Because, when I am eating fried dumplings, I love them the best. But, when I am eating boiled dumplings, I love them the best!

Dumplings are a simple food, basically flour, salt and water kneaded together and pinched and plopped into hot oil until golden brown. But oh how so versatile and delicious!

A staple part of the Jamaican diet and whether fried or boiled they make a filling and delicious accompaniment and side dish to many other Jamaican  dishes. Ready to go for breakfast, lunch or dinner start experimenting and cook fried dumplings!

 

Cook Fried Dumplings

First things first, thoroughly wash your hands and scrub underneath your nails if you can. If you have chipping nail varnish / polish, I recommend removing it all, otherwise you may you have on even less (and the dumplings will be wearing more) after kneading the dumplings – if you get what I mean!

Gather all your ingredients and cooking implements together and put them on the counter top so you have everything within reach and you will also save time and make it easier for yourself.

 

You Will Need:

  • a large bowl to knead the dough
  • a measuring cup and teaspoon
  • a Dutch Pot or large frying pan to fry the dumplings

Ingredients:

  • Use Either, 3 Cups Plain (counter) flour mixed with 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • Or, 3 Cups Self-Raising Flour
  • 1/3 to 1 tsp Salt
  • 3 tsp Sugar (can be omitted if preferred)
  • 3 tsp Butter, or Margarine (can be omitted if preferred)
  • ¾ Cup Water, or enough to make a firm dough
  • ¾ Cup Cooking Oil, or around 1 inch deep

How to Cook Fried Dumplings

Preparation:

  • Set on your Dutch Pot on a medium heat and leave for about 2-3 minutes to warm up, then carefully add the cooking oil and leave to heat up (Keep children away from the Hob)
  • Meanwhile, add the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix together evenly
  • If using butter / margarine, add this to the dry ingredients and rub the flour through your fingers until it mixes together with the butter evenly and resembles fine breadcrumbs – do not leave blobs of butter in the mixture
  • SLOWLY add the water and constantly knead the dough until it is firm and there is no dry flour in the bowl.
  • The dough should NOT stick to your fingers once finished and should form into one large ball
  • Pinch a golf ball sized piece of the dough and place in the palm of your hand, use the other hand to fold the outer edges into the middle until the dumpling has a ‘firmness’ to it
  • keep kneading in this way for about 30 seconds until firm
  • Form into dumplings: have fun! You can either roll dough into a ball, form into a sausage shape, make a knot, or roll it into a ball then press flat on two sides to form a 1½ high biscuit
  • Leave formed dumplings to one side of the bowl until the oil is ready

Method of Cooking:

  • Carefully place dumplings into the hot cooking oil and leave for a few minutes until they are fried golden brown on the underside
  • Gently turn over and brown the other side – do not overload the pot, the dumplings shouldn’t be touching one another too much
  • You can encourage the middle of the dumplings to cook by pushing a fork into the centre of the dumplings and turning it over into the oil; the hot oil will surge into the fork holes and cook the inside
  • Test the dumplings are cooked by pushing a fork in the middle of the dumplings, if it yields and the fork comes out clean, its ready to come out of the oil
  • Use a fork to remove dumplings from the oil, shake lightly to remove excess oil and place in a covered bowl with paper towelling in the bottom to drain off any remaining excess oil and keep warm
  • Fry remaining dumplings and serve – Enjoy!
  • WARNING! Please remember that the pot and any remaining oil will stay hot for a long time – Move it away from the front of the stove and leave somewhere where children cannot pull it over them until fully cooled

Recipe Notes:

Serves 4 -6 people

Takes about 10 minutes to prepare and another 20 minutes to cook

If you want to feed more people,  just increase the quantities to enjoy this delicious Jamaican food…

 

 Jamaican food - Fried Dumplings Ready to serve

What can I eat with Fried Dumplings?

Wondering what to eat with your Fried Dumplings?

Where would Jerked meats and Fried Escovitch Fish be without fried dumplings?

Or, the National Dish of Jamaica ‘Ackee and Salt-fish’; which is delicious stuffed inside split open fried dumplings, by the way.

Fish lovers can eat fried dumplings with Red Herrings, sardines, or tinned mackerel.

Vegans can enjoy fried dumplings with Steamed Callaloo or, Jamaican style Steamed Cabbage.

The list of suitable accompaniments is endless…. Just Cook, Nyam and Enjoy!

This recipe for fried dumplings goes fast, so make sure you make enough for everyone to eat seconds!

Jamaican Recipes

If you enjoyed this Jamaican recipe and want to try more delicious Jamaican food, click here for more easy, filling and nutritious Caribbean food recipes.

 

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Bless Up Jules.

 

Keep the Conversation Going….

What do think of this Jamaican Fried Dumpling Recipe? What do you like to eat with your Fried Dumplings? Join the Comments Below….




Jamaican Food – Red Herring and Hard Food Recipe

[text_justify]Jamaican food like this hearty breakfast recipe, are so filling they also make a great dinner idea for you and yours.[text_justify]

[text_justify]Jamaicans love to eat ‘cooked food’ at any time of the day and although this meal takes a little longer to prepare, it takes little time to eat. It makes a perfect breakfast recipe if you are really hungry! Wholesome, filling and delicious, you too can cook this meal by following the easy steps…

Red Herring and hard food is a filling and delicious breakfast recipe, but it perfect if you are looking for hearty lunch or dinner ideas. The Red Herring comes dried and smoked and once soaked in water it is fried in oil with the seasoning and herbs and makes the perfect accompaniment to the hard food. Hard food in Jamaica consists of boiled provisions and can include any starchy vegetables, such as (Irish) potato, yam, green banana, pumpkin, dasheen and boiled dumplings. Caribbean food is generally filling and delicious and this meal is no exception. If you prefer you can eat the fish with fried dumplings, which are equally delicious and filling.[/text_justify]

 

 

[icon icon_name=”star”] You will need:

[list style=”1″ underline=”1″]

  • a large bowl to soak the Red Herring
  • a sharp knife and chopping board to prepare the seasoning
  • a Dutch Pot or large frying pan to fry the seasoning and fish
  • a large Pot (saucepan), to boil the hard food

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[text_justify]Throughly wash your hands and scrub underneath your nails if you can. Gather all your ingredients and cooking implements together and put them on the counter top so you have everything within reach and you will also save time and make it easier for yourself.[text_justify]

 

 [icon icon_name=”star”] Ingredients – Fish

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  • 2 Smoked / dried Red Herring
  • ½ Onion
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1-2 Cloves of Garlic
  • Sprig Fresh Thyme
  • Piece of Scotch Bonnet Pepper (to suit)
  • 1 teaspoon of Black Pepper (to suit)
  • 1 teaspoon of All purpose Seasoning (to suit)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of tomato ketchup
  • Cooking Oil – Enough to cover the bottom of the pan
  • Water – to soak the Red Herring

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[icon icon_name=”star”] Ingredients – Hard Food

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  • 2 (Irish) Potato
  • 6 Green Banana
  • Any other starchy vegetables such as: Yam, Dasheen, Pumpkin and so on…
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Water

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[icon icon_name=”star”] Ingredients – Boiled Dumplings

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  • 2 Cups Flour (Plain)
  • 1 tablespoon Salt / Low Salt
  • ¾ Cup Water

 

[text_center]Serves 3 hungry adults, or three medium-sized appetites – Takes about 30 minutes to prepare and another 20 minutes to cook; if you want  to feed more people, just double the quantities to enjoy this delicious Jamaican food…[/text_center]

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 [icon icon_name=”star”] Stage One

 

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  • Place the Red Herring in a large bowl and cover with water, set aside
  • Set on a large pot (saucepan) fill half full with water, add salt to taste and cover with pot cover (lid) Electric Mark 3-4
  • Make dumplings – place flour and salt in a large bowl, SLOWLY add the water and constantly knead the dough until it is firm and there is no dry flour in the bowl. The dough should NOT stick to your fingers once finished. Pinch a golf ball sized piece of the dough and place in the palm of your hand, use the other hand to fold the outer edges into the middle until the dumpling has a ‘firmness’ to it, use the ball of your hand to flatten the dumpling and leave a slight indentation in the middle, place in the bowl and continue until you use up all of the dough, set aside; many Jamaicans love to eat ‘tuff’ boiled dumplings, meaning that it has a density and firmness to it when cut and eaten
  • Wash and chop seasoning, onion, garlic, tomato, thyme, set aside
  • Wash and peel ground provisions, (Irish) potato and any other, such as dasheen or yellow yam; do not peel yam until the water has boiled so  you can put it straight in the pot (saucepan), otherwise it will produce a reddish slime which is not nice!

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[icon icon_name=”star”] Stage Two

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  • Once your pot (saucepan) has come to a rolling boil, add a splash of cooking oil, this will stop the provisions from ‘blackening’ in the pot, then carefully add the ‘toughest’ ground provisions first, i.e. add potato, and yam and so on if available
  • Place your green banana in a bowl of cold water, cover your hands with cooking oil (stops the banana turning black) and carefully cut off the top and bottom making a slit in the banana skin from top to bottom, now gently peel off the skin and discard, place the peeled bananas straight into the boiling water
  • Add the dumplings to the water and turn down the pot to Electric mark 3, replace the pot cover (saucepan lid) and leave to gently boil

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[icon icon_name=”star”] Stage Three

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  • Set on your Dutch Pot or deep frying pan on the stove on Electric mark 4 and after about 3-4 minutes, add enough oil to cover the bottom of the vessel; beware of small children going near the hot pan and pulling the oil over them
  • Now to tackle the fish, should it have been soaked for at least 20 minutes or so, the skin should be reasonably easy to peel off and discard, take time as you do not want to take up the flesh when removing the skin, snap off the head and ensure that the gills are fully removed with it and discard, now pull all the flesh off of the large central bone that runs from head to tail, discard as many of the smaller bones as possible as you do this so it is easier to eat and more child friendly, finally shred the fish into slithers and set aside
  • Once the oil has heated for about 3-4 minutes you can add the chopped seasoning, onion, garlic, tomato, thyme leave to soften; the oil should be suitably hot and ready for use before you finish preparing the fish, so you can add the seasoning once the oil is ready, rather than waiting for you to finish processing and shredding the fish which may take considerably longer
  • Check your hard food, the pot may want turning down to Electric mark 1-2 to finish boiling
  • After the seasoning has softened for about 3 minutes turn down the pot to Electric mark 3 and after another 2-3 minutes you can add your dry seasoning, ground black pepper and all-purpose seasoning, stir into the pot
  • Add your shredded Red Herring and stir, leave to simmer
  • After another 3-4 minutes add a good blob of tomato ketchup, stir and cover the pot for a few minutes

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[icon icon_name=”star”] Stage Four

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  • Check the hard food with a fork to check it is cooked, the toughest vegetables should NOT be hard in the middle, the dumplings will float once cooked – if everything is ready turn off the stove and using a slated spoon remove them from the water, share on to your plates
  • Turn off the stove for the fish and share on to the plates with the hard food, share some of the oil from the pot as it tastes delicious and it makes a ‘gravy’ to eat with the hard food
  • You can also offer a green salad, with lettuce, tomato and cucumber if available
  • ENJOY!

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Jamaican food - Red Herring and Hard Food
Red Herring and Hard Food

 

 

If you enjoyed this Jamaican recipe and want to try more delicious Jamaican food,  click here for more easy, filling and nutritious Caribbean food recipes[button style=”1″ caption=” Jamaican Food” link=https://sweetjamaica.co.uk/category/jamaican-food-and-drink/jamaican-recipes/[/button]

 

Cook Saltfish Fritters – Stamp and Go

Stamp and Go, or Saltfish Fritters are quick and easy to prepare and cook and are delicious to eat….

[text_justify]They can be enjoyed for breakfast, as a snack or as an appetiser at an event, as they are perfect Caribbean finger food. These delicious fritters can be prepared in about 15 – 20 minutes depending on how fast you work and can be fried in another 20 – 30 minutes depending on how crispy or cripsy, as Jamaicans would say, you like them.  I made them for breakfast today along with some fried green plantain and a little salad and you can too by following the simple recipe. This recipe is my own slightly modified version of the great classic and I hope you will enjoy eating them as much as I do…[text_justify]

 

[icon icon_name=”star”] You will need:

[list style=”1″ underline=”1″]

  • a large bowl to mix the ingredients
  • a sharp knife and chopping board to prepare the seasoning
  • a Dutch Pot or large frying pan to fry them in
  • a small saucepan, if you include the optional vegetables you will also need to lightly boil them

[/list]

[text_justify]Throughly wash your hands and scrub underneath your nails if you can. Gather all your ingredients and cooking implements together and put them on the counter top so you have everything within reach and you will also save time and make it easier for yourself.[text_justify]

 

Jamaican food - Salt fish fritters ingredients
Jamaican food – Salt fish fritters ingred

[icon icon_name=”star”] Ingredients

[list style=”1″ underline=”1″]

  •  2 Cups Flour (plain)
  • 1 Cup Saltfish (dried and salted Cod Fish)
  • 3/4 tablespoon Salt or Low Salt (low sodium content)
  • 1 to 2 Teaspoons of Baking Powder (can be omitted if wished)
  • 1 to 2 Teaspoons of Curry Powder, BetaPac is a Jamaican Brand (I have not used this ingredient as I prefer the fritters without it)
  • 3 stalks of fresh Escallion (Spring Onion)
  • 1 Clove of Garlic (can be omitted if wished)
  • 1/4 fresh Scotch Bonnet Pepper (add more according to taste!)
  • 1 tablespoon dried Thyme or Mixed Herbs
  • 2 Cups of Water
  • Approx 2 cups Cooking Oil, or enough to keep bottom of pan 1/2 inch deep in Cooking Oil throughout frying

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[icon icon_name=”star”] Optional

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  • 1 small carrot, diced small, roughly the same size as the diced escallion
  • 5 medium string beans, diced small, roughly the same size as the diced escallion

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Jamaican food - Salt fish fritters chop vegetables
Jamaican food – Salt fish fritters chop veg

 

[icon icon_name=”star”] Stage One

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  • Place the Salt Fish in a bowl of water to soak for a while, set aside
  • Wash and dice your seasoning – escallion, garlic and scotch bonnet, set aside
  • If using carrot and string beans, dice into small pieces and set to (lightly) boil in a pan / pot of water

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[icon icon_name=”star”]Stage Two

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  • Set the dry Dutch Pot or frying pan on Electric Mark 4 and after approx. 3 mins, add cooking oil and allow to heat
  • Put flour, salt, baking powder and thyme / dried herbs in a bowl and mix together
  • Add your diced seasoning – escallion, garlic and scotch bonnet to flour mix and stir together
  • Take your saltfish out of the water and peel off the skin, remove fins, belly lining, bones and everything else except the flesh and discard the waste
  • Take the remaining saltfish, rinse in clean water and pull off chunks, shredding into small pieces
  • Add shredded saltfish to flour mix and stir
  • If you are using other vegetables, drain them from the water and add to flour mix and other ingredients
  • SLOWLY add 2 cups of water to the flour mixture, stirring all the time. Make sure you scrape the spoon around the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure there are no pockets of flour left in the mixture

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Jamaican food - Salt fish fritters add water to flour mix
Jamaican food – Salt fish fritters add water

[icon icon_name=”star”] Stage Three

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  • Once oil has heated carefully drop 2 tablespoons full of mixture into the oil  make each fritter; in a medium sized dutch pot you can probably fit three fritters at one time
  • Add other drops of mixture ensuring the fritters do not touch one another in the pan
  • Fry for approximately 3 – 4 minutes and turn over once the underside has started to crisp
  • Fry on other side until there are no ‘wet patches’ of mixture in the fritter
  • I normally turn mine again and fry until the fritter has lightened in colour and is slightly crispy and golden brown in colour
  • Remove from oil and lay on kitchen towel or uncoloured napkins to remove some of the oil
  • Place in a lidded bowl to keep warm until all fritters are fried
  • Once fried, remember to turn off the hob and leave the oil in the pan to cool down- PLEASE ENSURE pan it is set back from the front of the stove as the pan and oil stay hot for a long time; especially if you have young children who could pull it off the stove over them.

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Jamaican food - Salt fish fritters fry until golden and crispy
Jamaican Salt fish fritters fry golden and crispy

[icon icon_name=”star”] Stage Four

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  • Serve your fritters and share if you really have to!
  • Enjoy…

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Jamaican food - Salt fish fritters ready to serve
Jamaican food – Salt fish fritters ready to serve

 

 

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Eating Jamaican Spicy Pickle!

If chocolate tea (hot chocolate), real vanilla or spicy pickle are your thing, then you will love this Jamaican food manufacturer…

 

 Spice Girl Products

The second interview in my SUPPORT JAMAICA BUY JAMAICAN! campaign lead me to another inspirational Jamaican woman who is  rocking the natural food manufacturing industry with her sensational pickles, natural vanilla and chocolate teas (hot chocolate). Sheryl Muir is the Managing Director and general superwoman of Spice Girl Products a truly authentic Jamaican enterprise that you will want to taste and savour again and again, as all the ingredients are grown right here in Jamaica…..

The Spice Girl Range of products on offer currently includes:

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  • Spice Girl’s chocolate tea is made from a selection of seeds from the finest cocoa pods, the seeds are naturally sun-dried for about 7 days to remove the moisture and capture the chocolate flavour, after parching and roasting they are pounded in a mortar with a pestle and formed into Jamaica Spice Girl Chocolate balls. The fabulous kit has three (3) Chocolate balls, Vanilla Bean, Nutmeg and Cinnamon Leaves to create the perfect cup of chocolate tea (hot chocolate).
  • They also offer dried vanilla beans (pods) and a natural Vanilla Extract which has no sugar or preservatives, which is “aged” for at least six months before bottling to develop flavour.
  • Plus, a Vegetable Pickle that contains scotch bonnet peppers, carrots, onions, cucumber, pimento seeds and vinegar, which can be enjoyed with fish, sardines, pork or poultry for a vibrant and tasty condiment.

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Did you know?

Vanilla beans are natural fruit from vining orchid vanilla Planifolia Andrews, the plant produces flowers after the first three years and annually thereafter. The flowering period last for about five (5) months of the year, each flower survives for only eight hours and must be hand pollinated within this time to make sure a bean which stays to the vine for about nine months to achieve maturity. Beans are thereafter naturally sun cured and conditioned to achieve the Worlds “Supreme Vanilla Bean From Jamaica”.

My Interview with Sheryl Muir of Spice Girl Products gave an insight of what manufacturing Jamaican food is all about…

Vanilla Extract Spice Girl Products
Vanilla Extract Spice Girl Products

Interview questions

 

1. Introduce yourself and your role in the company?

I am Sheryl Muir, my primary place of residence is Kingston Jamaica and I am the founder and Managing Director of Spice Girl Products.

 

2. When was your company established and why did you choose this career path?

Spice Girl Products was established as a sole trader operation in April 2010.The genesis of the company reflected a desire and response to my training and courses at the University College of the Caribbean (UCC) where I pursued studies in Business Administration, and Tourism & Hospitality.

3. Tell me about your typical working day?

My typical day starts at 5 a.m and revolves around my family and organizing my business. I am the mother of two girls ages eight and nine years old. After feeding, preparing and taking them for school I become immersed in any of the following activities depending on appointments or schedules. Visiting the country to arrange raw material supplies and check on happenings at the vanillary, actual manufacture of products, packaging, labelling, preparing orders, delivering products or instructing deliveries, meeting with clients, graphic artist, packaging suppliers or, checking on in store displays and sometimes facilitating in store sampling, promotion and banking and other financial issues. These activities must be completed by 3 p.m when it becomes time for collecting the girls, seeing to their extra curricular activities and feeding, supervising homework, spending some quality time and seeing them off to bed by 8pm. My administrative and computer time begins there after and I am usually in bed by 10:00p.m with some t.v. time until sleep takes over.

4. What is your company philosophy?

Quality product, Quality Service.

5. Where is your Head Office based and do you manufacture / produce your products in Jamaica?

Spice Girl primary raw materials are produced at the Elan Farms in Hope Bay Portland, Woodside in St.Mary. Packaging, quality control and distribution is executed in Kingston.

Jamaican Vanilla Pods
Jamaican Vanilla Pods

6. Do you use Jamaican raw materials in your products?

Raw materials used in Spice Girl Products are locally produced.

7. Are you Jamaican?

I was born in St.Elizabeth, Jamaica.

8. Tell me your top 3 likes and dislikes about Jamaica?

My three likes about Jamaica are:

  1. Perceived potential of the country to provide a truly rewarding experience.
  2. The moderate climatic conditions of the country throughout the year.
  3. Potential friendly tourism destination.

My three dislikes are

  1. Visionless politicians who are clueless to what is required to facilitate business development.
  2. The high crime rate and praedial larceny.
  3. Unnecessary bureaucracy and lack of developmental opportunity to promote productive enterprise.

 

9. What new company plans and visions are you working on?

For 2013 we intend to launch our Vanilla flavoured teas and open the Spice Girl farm tours in conjunction with Elan Farms in Hope Bay Portland for sometime in July.

10. What is your personal favourite product that you make and why?

Natural Vanilla Extract from the “Supreme Beans” produced at Elan Farms. We hope to educate Jamaicans and international health conscious persons to go easy on the artificial vanilla and start using natural vanilla.

vanilla extract 114ml Spice Girl Products
vanilla extract 114ml Spice Girl Products

11. Who or what, is your inspiration or role model?

My inspiration is definitely my girls, they have been my support team through thick and thin.

12. Where can we buy your products in Jamaica and overseas?

Spice Girl Products can be found in the Mobay Airport, thirty-two supermarket outlets and online @ www.spicegirlproducts.com

13. How do you love to spend your free time in Jamaica?

Free time ….Visiting new and interesting adventures or attractions around the country.

14. If you could be Prime Minister of Jamaica for a day, what would you do?

The country has been in degradation for too long, for one day to be effective or meaningful, however, it is of primary importance for the Prime Minister to recognise the importance of National Empowerment of the masses not through marginal programs but through programs that are sustainable and encourage, production, consumption and export. The packaging and marketing of Jamaica as a tourism product is seen by us to be the only true solution to Jamaica’s’ economic and by extension crime and other problems….

15. Which Jamaican, dead or alive, do you feel made the biggest contribution to Jamaica and why?

I believe Norman Manley made a significant contribution with his vision for community development and Edward Seaga has made a good try for cultural awareness.

Jamaican Vegetable Spice Pickle
Jamaican Vegetable Spice Pickle

16. If you could impart one piece of advice to inspire young Jamaicans to start their own businesses or succeed in their chosen career, what would it be?

Stay true to yourself, perseverance and dedication despite the obstacles and definitely learn to accept changes wherever necessary. Must gain knowledge in their respective field and surround themselves with positive people that will always encourage and support them.

17. If you could change jobs, what would you do?

I’ve asked myself this question many times…………but definitely being paid to travel to other countries and learn more about their culture, food, attractions and adventures (Professional Tourist).

18. Apart from your own company, what is your favourite Jamaican company and why?

Grace Foods…..They had a vision and a plan and they execute it as a family……They are an inspiration to many young entrepreneurs.

19. What do you believe contributes most to your company’s ongoing success?

Quality products, good service and the support of loyal customers, well wishers and immediate family.

20. What do you feel your company has to offer the international and home markets, over and above your competitors?

Our unique products. There are no other commercial vanillaries in the English-speaking Caribbean, United States, Canada or Europe.

Spice Girl Products logo
Spice Girl Products logo

21. How do you believe we as a nation can help to build Jamaica?

As stated earlier massive Jamaica packaging and tourism promotion.To achieve this in a meaningful way we need to change the mindset of our people to move away from the hand out mentality. Unfortunately, our current crop of politicians on all sides of the aisle seem to lack the moral or entrepreneurial ability to lead such a charge. We must be contented with tiny steps until…….

22. What are your aspirations for Jamaica?

To have a peaceful, welcoming and productive country where the masses are truly independent and empowered.

23. What are your thoughts on the ‘SUPPORT JAMAICA BUY JAMAICAN!’ post on Sweet Jamaica’s blog?

Your concept is very much in keeping with the principle of packaging Jamaica for consumption….We wholeheartedly ” Support Jamaica Buy Jamaica” Concept.

Thanks Sheryl it was a pleasure interviewing you…. anytime you need a food sampler ‘hail me up!’

 

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Want to learn more, buy something or get in touch with Spice Girl Products you can do it here:

Website: www.spicegirlproducts.com 

Mailing Address: Woodside, Pear Tree Grove, St Mary, Jamaica.

Please contact us at any of the following email address:

spicegirlproducts@gmail.com

products@shopspicegirlproducts.com

info@shopspicegirlproducts.com

Telephone: 1-876-484-9976

Spice Girl Products

“Spice for Life!”

Jamaican Cook Shops

Cook Shops are establishments that usually serve hot food and cold snacks, as an alternative to a fast food takeaway / eateries, although the food is rarely fast and is invariably much more healthy and tasty than the local burger or pizza joint! Each has their own specialities and popular dishes they like to offer, but you can often find them open from early in the morning until late at night serving delicious cheap food.

Continue reading Jamaican Cook Shops

Jamaican Local Shops

If you are out and about in Jamaica check out one of the locally owned shops and bars if you are feeling thirsty or want a snack. The prices are slightly higher than the supermarket, but they are nowhere near as expensive as the tourist places and you will get to mingle with the locals. You can easily spot them from the hand painted designs, customised illustrations and invariably the Jamaican Flag or colours proudly represented in the design. It is popular in the smaller shops that the merchandise is kept behind the counter with a mesh screen rising to the ceiling, the small ‘hatch’ at the front enables the customers to order and pay for the goods and to be served. You can find these establishments scattered all over the island, on or around the land where the vendor lives, by the roadside, or any other ‘profitable’ location that can be found.  They serve passing trade and the local community, when a bigger supermarket is unnecessary or too far away. If you are on the road and want a snack and a drink, this is what you can expect to find and pay inside:

Cost of Food and Drinks

Average Prices of beverages:

  • Soda / Fizzy drinks (large personal sized), such as Bigga, D&G are approx. $80
  • $70  Soda / Fizzy drinks (medium-sized), such as Bigga, D&G are approx .$50
  • Soda / Fizzy drinks (small child size), such as Likkle Bigga, D&G are approx. $40
  • Fruit drinks, such as Tampico are approx.$100
  • Bottled Water, such as WATA or Catherine’s Peak, are approx. $60 – $70
  • Cranberry water are approx. $70 to $80
  • Nutritional drinks, such as Supligen are approx. $180
  • Energy Drinks, such as Boom and Red Bull are approx. $150
  • Bag Juice, flavoured water that is often frozen / chilled are approx. $20 – $40
  • Beer and stout, are approx. Red Stripe $160, Dragon Stout $170 and Guinness $180
  • Wines, are approx. Magnum $200, Red Label Wine $140 to $300 for a large size.
  • Liquor, such as a shot of Wray & Nephew is generally $100 rising to $150 if ‘chased’ with soda or juice (you might be required to buy the can / bottle of chaser).
  • Liquor, such as a ‘flask’ (UK quart bottle) of Wray & Nephew is generally $450 – $500 and works out most cost-effective if you are planning of drinking more than 2 shots.
  • Please note international liquor such as Brands of Brandy/Cognac sold in the UK are as much as $500 for one drink/glass… and that doesn’t usually include a chaser – so be warned!

 

Average Prices of Snacks:

• Bun, Individual round fruit bun $70 or cheese bun are generally $80 – $90

• Bag snacks, such as Cheezesticks $10, Tigers Cheese Snacks $35, Cheezees $40

• Banana Chips are approx. $50 and Plantain Chips,  are approx $70

• Bulla, (try with ripe banana or pear/avocado) are approx. $45 – $50

• Sweets / Candy starts from $5 to $15, bon bons (lollipops) are approx. $15 – $20

• Bread (or mongoose bread, because it is long and thin), small long sweetish tasting baps are approx. $130

These Prices are Correct as of June 2013 and are based on average prices collated from in and around rural St. Ann’s.

PLEASE NOTE: All monetary values in this article using the ‘$’ sign as a pre-fix; refer to the Jamaican National Currency of Jamaican Dollars.

Building Materials

Local shops are ‘self- made’ by the owner and built with their friends and family giving a hand, or if the construction is beyond their own capabilities someone will be paid to build it . If you want to build your own shop, or lend a hand to someone else, you will need the following materials:

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  • Ply board or ‘planks’ of wood for the roof, walls, floor, windows, doors, display shelves and counter
  • Hand-cut thin young saplings for the framework and posts, counter, door and window openings
  • Zinc (corrugated metal sheeting), flattened metal drums or containers to cover the roof and the sides
  • Wire mesh for the counter grill
  • Tarpaulin or ‘crocus bags’ (empty rice or flour bags) to line the inside
  • Linoleum for the floor and countertop.
  • Screeded cast floor with rocks mixed in for strength

 

  • Should more money be available to invest in the construction then blocks (thermalite or breeze block style) would be used to make the walls
  • Roof and floor would be cast or decked (screeded) in concrete
  • Tiles are often used on the floor

Coming from a construction background I am always AMAZED at the tenacity Jamaicans show in building shops (and houses, but that’s another story!). Not only in terms of where you wouldn’t think it was possible, petering on the side of hills and rock faces, the length and breadth of roadsides, on stilts with gangways and generally anywhere they are able to get a foothold, but also the use and recycling of materials is undeniably ingenious!

Stocking the Shop

Local shop owners buy products and merchandise from wholesale vendors in the larger towns, whilst others feel they can get more choice or better deals by travelling to Montego Bay or Kingston to buy their stock. There are also Goods Trucks in certain areas which circumnavigate the small country roads serving communities and vendors that are unable to travel to buy goods themselves, or those whom prefer the ‘home delivery’ method; this service provides a valuable resource and can cut travelling / sourcing expenses for some traders.

Sometimes the owners may raise livestock, such as chicken for meat and eggs, hogs (pigs), goats or grow produce which they sell as their sole product lines, or as an addition to complement the purchased stock. The owners will often start selling a small range of products that are readily required by the local community, such as, food stuffs, cosmetic and personal hygiene products, clothing, cleaning products, farming supplies, cooked food and invariably liquor and beverages.

The more fortunate are able to make enough profit to extend their business in some way, such as investing in wider product lines and a fridge or freezer to accommodate chilled and frozen products. A television, DVD player and / or a hi-fi (sound system) is also a popular investment that is blasted loudly to attract customers to stay longer (and hopefully spend more!) Some of them may increase the size of the shop, or upgrade the construction type in time. It is likely that you will pay a little extra for goods bought from these vendors compared to the larger supermarkets, as they do not have the same leverage and dependant of the size of the shop there might be a limited choice of items. I have to say though that I am always amazed at how many products these canny vendors manage to fit in their shops and I like to support them too.

Local Shop St. Ann Jamaica
Local Shop St. Ann Jamaica

Source of Income

The owners of these establishments often rely on the sale of goods as their sole source of income, which invariably includes their cost of living, sending their children to school, healthcare and so on, so the passing custom is a welcome addition to the local community trade. I have yet to find a miserly shopkeeper and the majority are rightly proud of their achievements in opening their business places, no matter how ramshackle it may seem to those accustomed to the local ‘corner’ stores in their home country. Please bear in mind that they need to sell 24 sodas to make around $400 or 24 bottles of beer or stout to make around $1,000 profit, which is hard work. So please stop, treat the owner with respect, greet them with a smile and a cordial greeting using Miss, Madam or, Sir especially to those who are senior to you in age and experience the warmth of the locals and help support them in their endeavours.

A point of note:

Be wise and respectful. You may find yourself centre of attention if you waft in with a fistful of notes or a bulging handbag or purse and your latest mobile (cell phone) in your hand when purchasing a drink or snack, and the locals may think you are acting ‘bosey’ (showing off) if they do not have that amount of cash readily available. A $500 bill, or a few $100 bills are suffice if only buying a few snack items. Carry Jamaican cash with you, it’s the national currency after all and it isn’t that hard to decipher the exchange rate. Plus, you are more likely to find it easier to use than UK Stirling £ and USA Dollars $ especially in smaller rural areas, whereby it will be harder for you to receive the correct change (which will nearly ALWAYS be in Jamaican Dollars $).

Don’t Worry Be Happy!

Sometimes if there are locals around they will stop and have a chat and share an anicodote or two, which can be very amusing. Children are often more intrigued by the new face and as is usual for children, they may either openly stare at you, or may hide and peep at you wanting to take in the new sight. I have never met any hostile response to my arrival and one of the most endearing experiences had been a small toddler who came over to touch my leg as she thought I looked like a dolly!

I generally try to break the ice by simply treating people with the respect they deserve; smiling or nodding my head whilst looking the person directly is usually enough to break them out in a warm and responsive smile. Although it will be seen as seriously strange and humorous behaviour if you start walking around manically nodding and smiling at everyone! If the mood takes you it never hurts to show a random act of kindness, buy a handful of sweets / candy and hand them out to the children…. think about it.

Jamaicans are proud people, and rightly so, they do not let many things hold them back from eking a living somewhere. If you only stop and look, you will also notice the enterprising ways in which they make ends meet. Although you may get better deals and choice at the larger supermarkets in the towns, you will invariably need to buy a few supplies, or at the very least buy a drink or snack (bun, banana chips, cookies and so on) whilst driving through the interior of the country, so don’t be shy get out there and frequent these shops. You will be pleased you did!