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Roger Mooking's Food Adventures: Jerk in Jamaica

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Posted by : Guest Blogger, Wed, Jul 20 2011

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To help us get inspired to try new cuisines from around the world, Roger Mooking, host of Everyday Exotic, shares his delicious adventures and notes from across the globe. We'll be rolling them out every Wednesday, so be sure to check back to find out where Roger's food adventures takes him to next.

How does one come to Jamaica and not try jerk?  It took me three days to finally taste this local delicacy that's enjoyed all over the world and it was well worth the wait. I've had jerk chicken, pork and fish many times in Toronto where there's a large West Indian population, but I've never had jerk like the one at Scotchie's in Kingston, Jamaica



For one, as you can see in the picture above, the jerk pit is called so for a reason. It's essentially a wood fired grill that is made from a huge cement form that is basically like a very spacious cement bathtub. The fire is a good twenty-four inches away from the grate of the grill so the cooking is long and slow. 

The chicken is started on the grill before it's moved onto the planks of pimento wood, where it continues to cook through and stay warm for when an order is placed. While it's cooking, the chef also drops a sheet of zinc metal on top to trap the smoke which also adds to the flavour. In Trinidad, we call this galvanized steel and it's used on the roof of houses. The combination of the wood fire, the pimento wood, the zinc and the spiced meat creates a unique jerk flavour unlike any jerk I've ever tasted in my life.

Now I really understand why it's called a jerk pit and why people clamour for Scotiche's jerk all over the island.


 

Be sure to check out more from Roger Mooking here.

Roger Mooking's Food Adventures

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Posted: Wed, Jul 20 2011 by Guest Blogger

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