• Caribbean cuisine

Caribbean cuisine

Best known for its big, hearty stews and curries embellished with spices, coconut milk and hot peppers, Caribbean food is made to be shared.

From the spicy pepperpots of the indigenous Arawaks and Caribs to the jerk seasonings brought in from African slaves, as well as Indian roti and many other influences from invading European countries, Caribbean food is a colourful hotchpotch of diverse flavours.

Jerk spices
Jerk cooking is a favoured way of cooking meat or fish in the Caribbean. The jerk seasoning combines spring onions, onions, thyme, Jamaican pimento (allspice), cinnamon, nutmeg, peppers and salt.

Pork is believed to be the original jerk dish. Escaped West African slaves ('maroons') would make jerk with the wild boars of the bush. These needed to be preserved (hence the spicy seasoning) and were cooked without smoke in an underground pit to avoid attention.

Meat
Chicken is by far the most common meat in the Caribbean and can be jerked, stewed, curried and roasted. Duck is sometimes eaten and will usually be curried or roasted, Chinese-style. Goat is also often curried and stewed, while beef, though not as common as in the UK - can be added to Jamaican patties, cow heel soup and oxtail stew.

As for pork, like French cuisine, Caribbean cooking makes use of the whole pig. In some islands the ears, trotters and snout are soused with lime juice and vinegar, hot peppers, cucumbers and onions for a breakfast dish. The intestines, belly and blood are used for black pudding, which is so highly seasoned that while quite delicious, bears little resemblance to English black pudding.

Wild meats include agouti (a rodent similar to a guinea pig!) lappe (wild rabbit), manicou (opossum), tattoo (armadillo), quenk (wild pig) turtle and even iguana.
 

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When I visited Toronto I bought a packet of Buffalo Chicken Seasoning and a packet of Jerk seasoning (bot IRIE) but am not really sure how to use particularly hat my wife is not a fan of very spicy food. Got any ideas guys? Wojt from UK

WojtL17788 WojtL17788 Posted 02 Sep 2011 5:45 PM