The Jerk Cuisine Experience
We could sit and talk about the ingredients that go into the preparation of a great jerk chicken or jerk pork. You would learn a lot. But it wouldn’t help you understand what you’re missing if you haven’t yet tried this unique Jamaican cuisine.
It might be easier to explain to you that tourists beg their tour drivers to divert from the official tour route or itinerary when the enticing aroma of jerk chicken drifts from a jerk centre (restaurant) onto the open road and then into your tour bus as you drive by.
A packed jerk centre with locals, some of them in their work clothes coming from work, tourists milling around sniffing the air and sighing with satisfaction, children pointing at the meat on the fire and then turning to their parents to tell them which piece they desire, this will tell you about the experience you have been missing.
Greasy fingers being licked unashamedly, customers going back to buy ‘seconds’, partners turning to each other and asking “can I get a piece of that pork” because they just finished what was on their plate, this is what you have been missing.
Ask a knowledgeable Jamaican if Jamaican jerk is the best in the world and he may well frown at you. There is no other jerk. Jerk is Jamaican and only Jamaican. It’s history is Jamaican. It originated here. Asking if Jamaican jerk is the best in the world is like asking if Italian pasta is the best in the world. If it’s pasta then it’s Italian, buddy, and only Italian. It’s the same with jerk.
As the Italians would say, “Capische?’ or as we would say in Jamaica, “Yu see me?”. Understand?
And Jerk isn’t just about the jerk chicken, jerk pork or jerk fish. It’s about the traditional foods that go with it like roasted yam, sweet potato or corn. It’s about festival, which is essentially fried dough mixed with a little bit of sugar and milk. It’s about red pea soup or pepper pot soup and that little container of blazing hot jerk sauce. Each jerk centre you visit will have its own unique sauce.
We could try to explain further but it’s futile. We can only point you in the right direction, try to set the stage and then you do the rest.
Jamaicans who live overseas naturally come back to Jamaica to visit friends and family from time to time. Many will tell you that when they exit the airport in Jamaica, the jerk centre is often their first stop. If you haven’t yet experienced jerk, you won’t understand. If you have experienced it, then the next time you return to Jamaica it will probably be your first stop, too. What makes it even better is our very own Jerk Hut at the resort providing jerk chicken, jerk pork and more culinary delights you'll love!
Holiday Inn Resort, Montego Bay Jerk Hut