You may have seen food trucks or temporary vendors hailing their food as authentic Jamaican food, but how can you know? If you’ve ever wondered what genuinely authentic Jamaican food tastes like, here is your food guide with a few tips to help you enjoy it even more.
The Dutch Pot is a Necessity for Authentic Jamaican Food
How the food is cooked is just as important as the seasonings and flavors of Jamaican food. A Dutch pot is part of the culture and a staple in every Jamaican home. The Dutch Pot Jamaican Restaurant pays tribute to that history with our name. We also follow this practice with the food we serve at our restaurant.
The Dutch pot cooks food evenly, so the flavors are well-balanced due to the consistency in temperature. The cook doesn’t have to worry about the food burning in a Dutch pot, which makes it easier to cook for a large crowd.
Traditional Jerk Dishes
When you visit the Dutch Pot Jamaican Restaurant, you will see some standard items on the menu. One such standard dish is the Jerk Chicken, made with a special marinade of jerk sauce. Jerk refers to jerky or dried meat, which is a dry rub with spices, including hot peppers. You may also find cloves, cinnamon, shallots, nutmeg, thyme, and pepper included in the rub. The best jerk sauce is spicy with a hint of sweetness. Jerk chicken may be the most famous, but you can expect it to expand to jerk pork, jerk fish, and more in Jamaica.
You’ll find barbeque recipes worldwide with unique recipes and flavors representing the locale. Jamaica is no different, with its own interpretation of the best spices to use. Jamaican food is generally spicy with flavors of cinnamon and cloves, allspice, and just a hint of sweetness. You’ll find barbeque chicken on our menu at the Dutch Pot Jamaican Restaurant.
Brown Stew Chicken
Another staple in the diet of many Jamaicans is Brown Stew Chicken. Like many Jamaican dishes, the food is spicy and savory with just a touch of sweetness from brown sugar. You’ll find a burst of flavor in the habanero pepper, vinegar, ginger root, onions, paprika, and allspice. The chicken is cooked for hours to allow the flavors to blend and the meat to be tender and moist. It’s often served with rice and is a favorite at The Dutch Pot.
Experiencing Authentic Jamaican Flavors
Jamaica is known for spicy food, but there is more to the menu than just spice. Jamaica is a melting pot of cultures, which becomes evident in the food. Settled by Europeans, Indians, and African cultures, the food is as distinct as the people that have lived here. Expect some heat with your meal, but that heat doesn’t take away from the individual flavors.
You’ll find dishes that include tropical fruits and fish along with marinades and meat. Goat is one meat that has more popularity in Jamaica than in many places in the US. Curry goat is on the menu at many restaurants in Jamaica with a unique flavor and tender meat.
To go with one of the amazing main Jamaican dishes, you’ll find that rice and peas are a traditional side. Almost every menu item will include them. Jamaican peas look more like red beans. They are also a bit drier than what you might think of with beans and rice, but they are a perfect complement to the spicy main dish.
Bammy even carries a Jamaican-sounding name. It’s made from yuca, a root vegetable. The yuca is soaked in coconut milk and deep-fried. They are often flavored with the ever-popular Scotch Bonnet peppers.
Jamaican food makes use of simple ingredients, and one example is the dumpling. They are often steamed but may be fried as well. They can be served with fish or chicken, among other menu items.
There are several dishes that you may not have tried or ever even heard of. For instance, a common food in Jamaica is oxtail. The meat is braised in a typically spicy sauce until it becomes tender. We serve it at The Dutch Pot to entice patrons to try something new and different.
Escovitch fish is another dish that you may not be familiar with. The dish includes onions and spices with vinegar and is a great option if you don’t typically eat meat.
Patties are as common in Jamaica as a burger in the US. It’s a meat pastry with spicy meats like chicken or beef. You can even get a vegetable patty if you don’t eat meat.
Served alone or with an entrée, festival is another food that you probably haven’t tried. It’s a cornmeal fritter that has been deep-fried. You’ll find it served with jerk foods.
If these food descriptions leave your mouth watering, come to THE DUTCH POT JAMAICAN RESTAURANT to try them out. We offer a wide selection of genuine Jamaican dishes cooked like experienced cooks on the island have been doing for generations.