We decided to do something very different this year and enjoy a side of Jamaica in which many tourists do not see or experience! The truly cultural side of ‘country’ as Jamaican’s would say (meaning any part of the island that is outside of the nation’s capital, Kingston).
From this experience we wanted to share 3 absolute things you must try when you visit this beautiful Caribbean destination, Jamaica.
1. Something out of the ordinary
Our first adventure began around a camp fire (yes – they actually build camp fires on the island in the country!). We enjoyed learning about ‘ole’ time Jamaica around the camp fire and understanding why older ladies (like the one pictured above) live such long and healthy lives. And by the way, we learnt that the lady carrying the 10 gallons of water (pictured above) is actually 74 years old and she did that twice a week, walking over 10 miles! We were very impressed!
We ate a simple but extremely tasteful meal of roast yam, roast saltfish and roast dumplin. We were told that roasting yam requires a bit of skill and expertise as it takes a few hours to roast and a gentle hand, but when it was finished we got a slice of this delicious starchy vegetable with a slice of butter on top – YUM!!! It literally melts in your mouth!
The roasted saltfish is an easy one for those of you that would like to try. Just get a slice of the salted codfish, wash off the salt and place the fish on the hot coals to roast for about 15-20 minutes on both sides.
2. Take away a piece of the island
For us it was this Jamaican recipe.
Here is the recipe for the Jamaican roast dumplin…
Jamaican Roast Dumplin Recipe:
1. Add salt to flour
2. Gradually add water to flour and knead until it forms a spongy dough
3. Make small, round, flat Jamaican dumplins and place on the embers (ashes – NOT on the direct fire!)
4. Roast for about 10 minutes on each side
3. Bring out the wild side in you!
We took a walk in their luscious Jamaican farm land and picked some local Jamaican fruits (we ate half of them along the way but it was a fantastic experience. We also found a cocoa tree which we picked and learnt the process of how to make hot chocolate.
Jamaican Cocoa Chocolate Recipe:
Processing the Jamaican cocoa (chocolate) from the Cocoa tree
Step 1: Pick the Jamaican cocoa off the tree and shell it (open the fruit and take out the seeds)
Step 2: Put the Jamaican cocoa seeds out in the sun to dry
Step 3: Once the Jamaican cocoa seeds are dry then put them in to a pot (no liquid) and parch it in order to remove the shell.
Step 4: After the Jamaican cocoa shell is removed then you need to mortar the seed in order to make the chocolate fine.
Enjoy a cup of your Jamaican chocolate with some sugar and milk. It is so much better than Jamaican milo!
Jamaican Cocoa tea