Tuesday, October 10, 2006

BBQ, Jamaica Style

I haven't posted in a while because I have been extremely busy, combined with a weeklong trip to Jamaica. While in Jamaica, we stayed at an all inclusive resort in Ocho Rios. It was a tropical paradise, and we had a great time.

While at the resort, jerk chicken and pork were served regularly. Jerk is essentially to Jamacians what BBQ is to Americans, as the meat is cooked low and slow over charcoal or wood fires with intense spice flavor. While the jerk at the resort was good, it got me thinking that I wanted to try the jerk that real Jamacians eat.

On the way to the airport after our week of vacation, I asked our taxi driver to stop somewhere that he feels serves real jerk. Around halfway between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay (around a two hour drive) the driver pulled off into a little hole in the wall along the highway. There was nothing resort about this place. There was a circular bar, and off to the right was a little cage where the jerk is prepared.

Even though English is the language used in Jamacia, the natives speak a broken, fast version that is difficult for Americans to understand. After the communication problems were worked through, we ordered 1/2 of a jerk chicken.

The cook let me have a good look at their pit. There is a little room off to the side where the charcoal is started. The fuel appeared to be standard lump charcoal.

The lit fuel is brought into the main cooking area, where it is placed in the pit. The meat is placed on a metal grid, and is covered with what appeared to be siding used in the building of houses.

The cook took the half chicken and violently hacked it up and placed it in foil for us. The total was eight dollars. I added jerk sauce and we piled back into the van and continued towards the hotel.

The chicken was tasty, extremely spicy with a little wood flavor mixed in. While it was not much different than the jerk we had at the resort, I was glad to have a chance to get some true road food in an exotic place. It was a great way to end a fantastic week in a tropical paradise, where we made new friends and got some much needed relaxation.

Now, the Jack preparation begins in earnest.


Anonymous said...

Glad you guys had a good time. I like that pic of the pit boss using some metal siding as the 'temp control.' If he saw some of the pits on the circut, with the gurus, and pellet feeders, he would laugh his ass off!

Lakeside Smokers

Jamaica Vibes said...

I'm happy that you enjoyed Jamaica and I love the pictures inside the jerk stall, very authentic!

It looks like you experienced a slice of the real Jamaica whilst you were over here.