Jamaica is an island that is full of culture and history as well as amazing food. The history of Jamaican food is as interesting as the history of the island because it has been influenced by settlers from across the globe

The Start

The start of Jamaican food as we know it begins in 1509 with the arrival of the Spanish on the island. These Spanish settlers drove the original inhabitants of the island out and settled along with their slaves. The slaves brought their own cooking techniques, recipes and spices from Africa to the island.

The arrival of Jewish people from Spain also brought other dishes to the island with the most famous being Escovitch Fish. These people started to mix their recipes with the fresh produce found on the island and the seafood on offer. This combination starts to create new dishes that were unique to the island.

Loss To The English

The Spanish lost the island of Jamaica to the English in 1655 and this changed the food of the island again. One of the most famous additions to Jamaican cuisine at this time was the Jamaican pattie. When the slave trade was abolished a century later, immigrants started to arrive from East India and China.

These new people brought with them Indian spices which were added to the food. This is possibly the start of the spicy Jamaican food that we know today. At this time, curry started to be a major aspect of Jamaican food and today Jamaican curry is a wonderfully eclectic mixture of different foods.

The Rise Of Jerk

One of the most famous aspects of Jamaican food is what is known as jerk. This is a dried meat which has its roots in Africa. When the slaves were brought to Jamaica, the Coromantee tribes brought this with them. Many of these slaves were able to escape their slavery and lived in secluded parts of the island with their descendants being known as Maroons. These people are famous for their herbalism and jerk.

The Jamaican Rastafarians have also had a part to play in modern Jamaican cuisine. Their most famous contribution is I-Tal Cuisine. This part of Jamaican food follows the strict guidelines of the Rastafarian diet and will have no salt.

Jamaican food has a long history that is linked to the history of the island. The different people who have settled on the island have all left their mark on the food.

It isn’t hard to get authentic and great tasting Jamaican food in Brampton anymore! Visit Jamaica House Jerk today for a traditional Jamaican dining experience. We make all of our recipes from scratch, including our famous curried goat, jerk chicken, and oxtail. We have full menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so visit us anytime to experience a full Jamaican experience! Check out our menu online, call us at 905-230-5622, or visit us at 145 Clarence St Unit 23-24!