Jamaica Jerk!

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It’s officially The Gleaner’s Food Month and, along with bringing you 30 Recipes In 30 Days, we’ll also give you a quick foodie’s tour of the island in our Travel Tuesday posts. This week, it’s all about jerk. Here are some of Jamaica’s most popular jerk spots.

Boston Bay – Portland

Boston is credited as the the birthplace of jerk and once you’ve had a taste of succulent, spicy offerings, you’ll find it hard to disagree. The area surrounding the beach is lined with jerk stalls, so feel free to shop around or try different items from the various vendors. And if you need to work off some of the calories later, Boston is also a renowned surfing beach. Be sure to pencil in the Portland Jerk Festival held there every July as well. You won’t regret it!

Scotchies – Ocho Rios, St Andrew, Montego Bay

If you’re going to boast a secret jerk recipe, your food has to be top-notch and Scotchies does not disappoint. Each location boasts a well-tended outdoor garden setting with gazebos for family dining, the perfect atmosphere to devour your scrumptious food in. You can also watch as your meal is smoked to perfection on the wood grill.

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Faith’s Pen – St Ann

If you’re travelling between St Ann and St Catherine, you will pass a row of colourfully branded, smoky shops located in Faith’s Pen. It has been a respite for many a hungry, thirsty traveller over the years, offering everything from jerked chicken and pork with festival to roasted fish, conch soup and cold drinks. Stock up to go or eat at the designated dining area.

Red Hills Road, St Andrew

This area is extremely popular amongst Kingstonians, many of whom are often caught in traffic in the vicinity and decide to feed their famished stomachs to make the gridlock a bit more bearable. Vendors abound, prices are reasonable and portions are substantial, so if you ever get struck by the munchies while in this area, you know just where to go.

Spur Tree Hill – Manchester 

Navigating the zig-zag Spur Tree Hill road, which runs down the steep Don Figueroa Mountains can be a bit tricky, so we advise you to cut your speed and drive with caution. The slower you drive, the more you’ll be able to take in the view of the surrounding area and the easier it will be to pull to a stop at one of the small shops or restaurants specialising in tantalising jerked fare. Cool Manchester breeze contrasting with hot and spicy jerk. Sounds like a perfect combination!

Read more about Jamaican food here. Be sure to check the #30Recipes30Days hashtag on Twitter and Facebook for traditional and contemporary local fare. Bon appétit!