Jamaica is ranked the eighth most underrated foodie destination in the world. The list was compiled by Chef’s Pencil, a global food magazine, which said it was a catalogue of “where you’ll find exquisite food, delicacies to savour or avoid…and mouthwatering delights.”
When it comes to the Caribbean island’s cuisine, the magazine had this so say: “Jamaica does have its fine-dining scene, but the key word for a foodie visit here is casual. Beachside stalls, corner shops, jerk shacks, and fruit stands all lend a laidback, chilled out vibe to dining that so fits the country that gave us reggae, ska, mento, dub, and dancehall.”
It continued that Jamaica is becoming known for its farm-to-table experiences which showcase the diversity of local produce and sustainability efforts.
“Jamaican cuisine is another rich fusion, including English, French, Portugese, Spanish, Indian, Chinese and Middle Eastern, but with strong African traditions that reflect the island’s history of slavery. It is shaped by the abundant local produce: fresh fish, lobster, and shrimp; exotic fruit – try the callalo, cho cho, guinep, or otaheite apple; and local spices.”
Of course, no story of Jamaica’s cuisine would be complete without mention of the iconic jerk for which Chef’s Pencil traced its historical origins to the Maroons began the tradition of preparing meats over coal with the use of pimento wood.
Other local staples which were included are curry goat, patties, and, of course, ackee and salfish, the island’s national dish.
The complete top 10, in descending order, are: The Philippines, Vietnam, Mexico, Croatia, Thailand, Peru, Australia, Jamaica, Portugal and Norway.
The list was put together with information collected from 250 chefs and foodies who shared their most underrated foodie destinations.