10 Most Popular Foods in Jamaica

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Jamaican cuisine is a mixture of Portuguese, Irish, French, African, Indian, Spanish, and many more flavors. This island has plenty of agricultural lands, which results in the production of various fruits and vegetables.

To avoid getting lost regarding the food during your first visit to Jamaica, you may look at the following dishes mentioned in this article.

1. Ackee and saltfish

This is a fish preparation that includes salted codfish and Ackee, which is Jamaica’s national fruit. The mixture of Ackee, saltfish, bell pepper, pepper, scallion, onion, and thyme is delicious. Ackee and saltfish are served with rice, fried dumplings, and roasted breadfruit.

Recipe for Ackee and saltfish

2. Curry goat

Pieces of mutton are sauteed in garlic, onion, thyme, pepper, and ginger, which gives it a spicy flavor. You may adjust the thickness and richness of the curry according to your preferences. Serve the curry goat along with rice and Caribbean beans to make a perfect meal.

Recipe for curry goat

3. Jamaican Escovitch Fish

Escovitch fish is a Jamaican version of South American ceviche but with the usage of heat and vinegar. The white fish is soaked in escovitch sauce, a mixture of carrots, scotch bonnet pepper, vinegar, garlic, and bay leaves. Jamaican Escovitch Fish is served along with Jamaican bammy.

Recipe for Jamaican Escovitch Fish

4. Brown stew chicken

This stew is a bone-in or boneless chicken cooked with flavorful spices, vegetables, and browning sauce. The chicken is marinated with thyme, ginger, bouillon powder, garlic, and pepper and then cooked. Brown or white rice perfectly accompanies the brown stew chicken.

Recipe for Brown stew chicken. 

5. Run Down

This dish features mackerel enriched with tomatoes, cumin, thyme, sweet pumpkin, and pimento. The coconut milk gives the stew a beautiful fragrance and taste. Since ancient times, Run Down has been served with breadfruit, dumplings, and boiled bananas.

Recipe for Run Down

6. Fish tea

Sounds strange, right? Well, it isn’t our regular tea; instead, this is a fish soup. The soup is prepared from shrimp, white fish, carrots, onions, garlic, thyme, potatoes, pepper, and salt. Garnish your Fish tea with onions, lime juice, and cubed cilantro. 

Recipe for Fish tea.

7. Red peas soup

According to Jamaican traditions, red peas soup is made from red kidney beans, pimento seeds, pumpkin, pigtails, and other spices. It is generally preferred to soak the red beans overnight or at least for 8 hours before the preparation of the soup. The red peas soup is usually served with rice during lunch or dinner.

Recipe for Red peas soup

8. Festival

Sweet and crunchy, festivals are similar to Jamaican dumplings prepared from cornmeal, salt, sugar, baking powder, cow milk, and flour. The dumpling is oval and shaped like a sausage; the preparer uses their hands to carve the shape of these dumplings. This crunchy festival goes perfectly with Jamaican Estovitch fried fish.

Recipe for Festival

9. Callaloo

Jamaican Callaloo is a healthy preparation made from green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, onions, garlic, scotch bonnet pepper, and thyme. Callaloo, also known as Amarnath, is a traditional Jamaican green leafy vegetable like spinach; however, Callaloo contains a stronger essence. This delicious and healthy meal is served with breadfruit, rice, or steamed fish.

Recipe for Callaloo

10. Jamaican Beef Patties

Jamaican beef patties are extremely yummy and loved by most people. The crispy outer layer encircles the juicy beef mixture inside with your favorite vegetables, and spices like paprika, turmeric, and curry powder complement each other. Though you can have the patties alone, fries, salad, and potato wedges also help accentuate these patties’ taste.

Recipe for Jamaican Beef Patties.