The Top 5 Meals to Try if You’re New to Jamaican Food

 If you’ve never had Jamaican food or visited a Jamaican restaurant, it’s hard to know where to start. Though most dishes include the bright, vibrant flavors and spices you’d expect from a tropical island nation, there is some variation across the menu.

We love serving authentic Jamaican cuisine to those who grew up on the island. However, introducing it to first-timers is something we take pride in, too. This article covers five delicious and authentic meals you should try when you make your first trip to THE DUTCH POT JAMAICAN RESTAURANT.

1.      Oxtail

What better place to start your exploration of Jamaican food than with a national delicacy? And yes, the dish is literally the tail of an ox or other type of cattle. Over the years (or rather, centuries), this part of the animal has gone from a cheap piece of meat, which was typically thrown away, to one of the most expensive (on a per-pound basis).

 The island’s unique culinary traditions are the result of several cultures coming together in one place. For example, the one-pot cooking method has roots in Africa and remains very popular in Jamaica – and in our restaurant! This slow-cooking, low-heat pot is ideal for oxtail because it allows the meat to cook down to a tender, almost gelatinous state. The result is an unforgettable blending of spices and some of the most tender meat you’ll ever try.

2.      Escovitch Fish

As residents of an island, it goes without saying that Jamaicans have incorporated fish into their diet since the nation was founded. Of all the seafood dishes available, the most popular in traditional Jamaican cuisine is Escovitch fish.

Fried red snapper serves as the meal’s base, but the sweet, spicy sauces and vegetables give the dish its unique Caribbean flavor. There’s no right or wrong way to make the Escovitch sauce that permeates every bite, but it almost always includes vinegar, onions, bell pepper, carrots, and of course, (as with any good Jamaican meal) scotch bonnet pepper.

3.      Curry Chicken or Goat

Curry dishes epitomize the bold flavors that Jamaican cuisine has become famous for. While everyone has their own special recipe, most incorporate some combination of ginger, peppers, turmeric, allspice, onion, and scotch bonnet pepper. At THE DUTCH POT JAMAICAN RESTAURANT, we offer our popular curry dish with two types of meat – chicken, and goat.

Curried goat is the traditional choice for big celebrations. Heavily seasoned and marinated before being cooked, the meat is satisfyingly spicy and blends well with the distinct, unique flavor combinations.  

4.      Brown Stew Fish

Like Escovitch fish, brown stew fish utilizes several ingredients that vary depending on who prepares the dish. However, tomato, onion, thyme, scotch bonnet, and allspice are essential to making an authentic brown stew sauce.

After frying the fish to crispy perfection, we add our special, slightly sweet brown stew sauce and let it simmer until it’s ready for you to eat!

5.      Beef Patties

Jamaican beef patties aren’t just a staple of Jamaican cuisine. They’re a staple of Jamaican culture! Throughout the Caribbean, several nations have their own version of this ‘meat pie’ meal, but Jamaica does it unlike anyone else.

Jamaican beef patties have a layered, light, flaky crust stuffed with spicy ground meat. They’re easy to eat, filling, and the perfect way to ease your way into authentic Jamaican cuisine.

Not into beef? Try it with chicken or vegetables instead!   

Ready to Try Authentic Jamaican Cuisine?  

Trying out new cuisines not only expands your appreciation of other cultures, but you might also find your new favorite meal! THE DUTCH POT JAMAICAN RESTAURANT has been serving authentic  opens in a new windowJamaican food for over two decades to natives of the island and newcomers alike. When you’re ready to try the dishes on this list, stop in and join us at one of our nine convenient locations to see why we’ve become the preferred option for traditional Caribbean cuisine. 

When you need to feed a crowd, we can help! Get in touch through our website to ask about our  opens in a new windowcatering services, and we’ll ensure nobody at your gathering goes hungry!