Our Food Products - Jerk
Jerk has long been popular street food in Jamaica and is now moving so fast onto upscale international restaurant menus the rules are changing everyday. The basic recipe of scallions, scotch bonnet peppers, all spice (pimento), cinnamon and nutmeg makes it very all purpose and extremely memorable. Used mainly with chicken, pork, fish and lamb, but quite interesting with bean curd, tofu and vegetables.
Remember to adjust the amount of seasoning to your taste - a little goes a long way… enjoy!
"Jerk is believed to have been conceived when the Maroons - runaway slaves who fought the British during the 18th century establishing free communities in the mountainous interior of Jamaica where their descendents still reside today – introduced African cooking techniques to Jamaica which were combined with native Jamaican ingredients and seasonings used by the Arawak / Taino Indians – the original inhabitants of Jamaica. The method of smoking meat for a long period of time served two purposes, keeping insects away from the raw meat and preserving it for longer once it has been cooked. This process also introduces a strong smoky flavour to the meat.
There are two commonly held theories regarding how the name "Jerk" came to be used. One is that it originates from the Spanish word "Charqui", used to describe dried meat. Over time this term evolved from "Charqui" to "Jerky" to "Jerk". Another theory is that the name derives from the practice of jerking (poking) holes in the meat to fill with spices prior to cooking. Nowadays, the word "Jerk" is used as a noun to describe the seasoning applied to jerked food and as a verb to describe the process of cooking used."
Source: Jamaica Travel & Culture