Jamaican cuisine is an excitement for the palate because of the mixture of herbs and spices used in cooking. It is this combo of seasonings that brings the first flavor that so many people enjoy in Jamaican food. Listed below are the top 6 Jamaican seasonings and their various uses. Make sure you try some of them in your cooking food.
Scotch bonnet pepper
Jamaican scotch bonnet pepper can be traced back to Central and South America from as early as 1736. It is employed heavily in local cooking, added to dishes such as escoveitch fish, peppered shrimp, cool, curried goat, and oxtail. Scotch bonnet pepper provides to the savory taste of jerk sauces and gravies. The green unripe pepper is also used for recipes such as rice and peas, ‘fish tea’, ‘mannish water’, and soups.
Jamaican ginger has its root base in tropical Asia but is now regarded as the best on the international market. It has a variety of uses which include cooking, baking and making beverages. Local products such as ginger statuette, ginger bulla, ginger ale and ginger beer are all seriously flavored with Jamaican ginger. Some Jamaican juices such as sorrel use turmeric to enhance its signature taste. Ginger can be used with rice and peas and gives a zesty flavor when stir-fried in dishes such as meat stir-fried or stewed poultry.
A significant part of local is the Jamaican escallion, known in the country as ‘scallion’. It is commonly sold with Jamaican garden thyme as the tastes complement one another when combined. The spice originated in China but has become thoroughly grown in St. Elizabeth parish. Dishes such as rice and peas and curried foods are not complete without the addition of Jamaican scallion, which is also popular for marinating the meat overnight.
Jamaican Pimento is one of the island’s indigenous spices well known due to its potent flavor and sweet fragrance. Also known as allspice, pimento is popularly used in chic recipes such as cool chicken and pork. Pimento berries are being used whole, smashed or blended when dried out and added to the desired dish. It may also be used to enhance the flavor of barbecue sauces, cakes, and soups.
Jamaican nutmeg is a popular spice brought to Jamaica from Indonesia and known for its distinctive smell and slightly fairly sweet taste. The nut is enclosed in a strong, protecting shell covered by red or brown veins and must be removed and grated to produce the spice needed for food preparation. It can be used to add flavor to meats, sauces and more popularly to improve desserts and porridge. Whenever Jamaicans think of nutmeg in beverages, they think of goods such as eggnog, carrot and cucumber drink.
Thyme is a broadly used herb with several cooking applications. It has its origin in The southern part of Europe and the Mediterranean and is also now grown in several of the island’s parishes. Used fresh or dried, thyme can be added to various soups, stews, and vegetables, producing an earthy taste that enriches the flavor of the dish. The leaves can be chopped and added to the pot, or the sprig of thyme can be cooked as a whole and then removed from the pot before serving.