The Jamaican cuisine and reggae music have quite a bit in common. Just as how one needs to play the instruments harmoniously with the others likewise spices and ingredients are infused in accordance with each other. Cooking the Jamaican way requires a great sense of timing, because most often different foods or spices with different textures are often combined to make a sumptuous dish. |
Every country uses extensively the food types that are available locally or close to its borders. Jamaica is no different, using the many fruits, vegetables and ground staples available. Boasting a society which is comprised of diverse cultures, the Jamaican cuisine is a mirror image of its culture. The East Indians, Africans, Europeans, Chinese and Mediterranean cultures all played a significant role in shaping what we now enjoy as Jamaican foods.
The Mediterranean and Indian spices complimented by tropical flavors is surely exotic. Caribbean spices are used to enhance the Indian style cooking while the Indian spices are used to enhance the Caribbean cooking. These combinations created numerous exotic dishes, these ingredients together will always result in something uniquely Jamaican.
The Jamaican cuisine is emphasized by browning of meats and fish. This browning or maillard reactions, occur when the meat is heated to temperature of 310°F or higher causing it to become brown. The process creates a crust on the outer surface of the meat which improves its appearance and flavor. It locks in the natural juices inside the meat which surely enhances its taste.
The next time you visit Jamaica give some thought to the dishes. Food and spices react differently in how they are being used. Example, the curry flavor is inferior when cooked in a water first, on the contrary when oil is used first it brings out all the aromas. Just as playing musical instruments require good timing, so does some spices. Some are better when added close to the end while others must be added at the beginning. Some are mild in flavor while others are overpowering. Whatever the situation is, the Jamaican cuisine has grown immensely spreading all over the world.
Stevert Mckenzie, Travel Enthusiast. Jamaican Cuisine
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