Thursday 13 December, 2018

MoBay Jamaica Food Beverage & Hospitality Expo: Seven food favourites

This weekend the Jamaica Food Beverage & Hospitality Expo takes place at the Montego Bay Convention Centre. Admission is free and events – which include presentations on industry issues and trends as well as food demonstrations and tastings - run from 1000-1700 on Saturday and Sunday. Organisers say more than 50 exhibitors are expected. If you’re at the event, drop by and say hi to our family at the Trend booth!

All this talk of food, meanwhile, has made Loop reflect on our rich culinary heritage. And it’s also made us hungry – so we’ve come up with this tribute to seven of our favourite local dishes and snacks.    


Akee and saltfish: Jamaica’s much-loved breakfast combination matches akee – a fruit with soft yellow flesh – with flaked salted cod. Add in onions, peppers and tomatoes and you have a nutritious and, let’s face it, totally delicious breakfast.

(Image: Jamaicanlifestylepics via Flickr)

Bammy: This is another breakfast staple (or lunch, or dinner…). It’s a flat-bread made from grated cassava. Once moisture is squeezed out of the cassava, it’s shaped into flat discs and fried, then soaked in coconut milk and fried again. Simple, but good.


Jerk: The dish for which Jamaica is known across the globe. Chicken, pork, beef and seafood can all get the jerk treatment, which involves marinating the meat or fish for several hours in a complex but tasty mix of herbs and spices followed by a slow grill (add wood chips to a barbeque for a more authentic smoked experience). Recipes differ from place to place but allspice and scotch bonnet peppers are a common thread.  

(Image: Christina Xu via Flickr)

Escoveitch fish: Snapper is the preferred fish for this tasty dish, which came to Jamaica courtesy of the Spanish in the 16th and 17th Centuries. Escoveitch comes from the Spanish word escabeche, which means pickled, and the dish consists of a fish that has been fried and then marinated in a spicy mixture of onions, peppers and vinegar.


Curried goat: This is a national favourite, and a legacy of the island’s Indian population who arrived as indentured workers in the 19th Century. It’s a highly-spiced mix of onions, garlic, scotch bonnet peppers, potatoes and tender goat meat.


Callaloo: We’re back to breakfast again, but only to highlight the wonderful versatility of callaloo. This leafy green vegetable can be fried, boiled or steamed, sometimes in combination with onions and peppers. It also makes a very tasty soup and it’s full of vitamins!

(Image: Stu Spivack via Flickr)

Patties: Finally, the patty may have a humble appearance but bite into it and you’ll encounter a spicy, tasty mixture of meat and sauce that will have you singing the praises of this savoury snack. Popular fillings include curried goat and spicy chicken, but different outlets offer different flavours.




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