Joan is from Kingston, the capital of Jamaica. The Caribbean island is known for its untouched nature, the origin of reggae music and of course rum. Joan proudly tells us about the beautiful and breathtaking country. Jamaica has a strong contrast in the landscape, so you can enjoy both mountains and kilometers of white sandy beaches in one location. The food culture is also characterized by contrasts. Joan told us more about it.
When we ask Joan how she would describe the Jamaican food culture, she answers: “Jamaican cuisine has the power to stimulate all the senses. The food culture is colorful, bold, audacious, aggressive and subtle at the same time. Moreover, the food culture is very diverse in its offer. The kitchen has easy and affordable street food dishes, but also a gastronomic offer of all kinds of characteristic dishes. ”
“Jamaica’s food culture is colorful, bold, audacious, aggressive and subtle at the same time.”
Joan explains that Jamaicans are the ‘original Foodies”. “Most Jamaicans are excellent cooks who are taught very early on by their mothers, aunts and grandmothers. We love food and this is demonstrated with food offered in so many different ways during family occasions, christenings, weddings, wakes and funerals.” Besides food, music and dancing is very important in Jamaica. Music and dance is intertwined with the food culture, Joan explains. “Any street dance, festival, corner bar, concert or gala event where there is the opportunity to show off your latest dance moves also include a selection of Jamaican dishes.”
"Most Jamaicans are excellent cooks who are taught very early on by their mothers, aunts and grandmothers."
Furthermore, Jamaican cuisine is linked to national and cultural celebrations. Their national dish is Ackee and saltfish. Although Saltfish is produced in the North Atlantic and Ackee is a fruit of West African origin, they are both brought to Jamaica by the slave trade. This cultural history is also reflected in other aspects of Jamaican cuisine and food culture. Joan tells us: “The use of crops, spices, herbs and preparation methods was introduced by our ancestors when they came to Jamaica as slaves from Africa, as indentured servants from India, or as plantation owners from Britain.” They also taught the Jamaicans how to season the dishes. Using the right amount of herbs and spices is important. “In Jamaica it is said to stop adding when the ancestors tell you to.”