1/07/2006

Jamaican jerk on list of ‘food to eat before you die’

KINGSTON, Jamaica - Jamaican jerk pork and chicken have been voted on the list of ‘The 50 things to eat before you die’. The list was the focus of a special BBC television programme that was hosted by noted television Chef, Ainsley Harriot, and shown over the Christmas season.

Television viewers had been asked to vote for the top 50 things everyone should sample in their lifetime, and Jamaican jerk pork and chicken were voted in at number 47, just ahead of traditional British Cornish pasties and Scottish haggis.

“Jerk refers to the Jamaican method of cooking meat, seasoned with pimento (allspice) over an open fire. This barbecue style goes back 1,200 years to when the Arawak Indians, the island's original inhabitants, used chilies, spices and garlic to rub into their meat and cook it slowly over a hot, wooden grate known as a barbicoa. Jerk is a taste of the sun-kissed Caribbean and is ideally sampled on a postcard-perfect beach under a palm tree. If that's not an option, improvise in your back garden with a barbie, some rum and a bit of Bob Marley,” said Mr. Harriot.

The Jamaican specialty received endorsement from one of the voters, Annette Peck.

"I love food seasoned with spices. The smell of it cooking makes my mouth water and the warm spicy peppery flavour shines through - it's like sunshine and happy faces. One of my favourites is lime on chicken, the fruitiness and warm peppery taste reminds me of the Caribbean. The first time I ate jerk chicken I liked it so much I rushed out and bought the seasoning to cook it for myself. My husband doesn't like spicy foods very much, so I cut through the intensity of flavours with sour cream," she noted.

The ‘50 things to eat before you die’ list was topped by fresh fish and include some of the usual foods, including lobster, steak, Chinese food, and roast beef. The list also included some very unusual entrants, such as kangaroo, reindeer, guinea pig, alligator and Moreton Bay bugs of Australia, which are salt-water crustaceans that just look like bugs.

*News Source: Caribbean Net News - Friday, January 6, 2006