Jammin in Jamaica

Jerk Sauce

Origin: Jamaica
Made from: Hot peppers, sweet allspice berries, thyme and ginger
Try it in your next Culiniste box: Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Rice and Pinto Beans

Next stop on our spring break globetrotting: Jamaica ! The island has long been a jewel of Caribbean travel, with over 500,000 Canadians visiting each year (a rather substantial number of visitors compared to the island’s roughly 2.7 million inhabitants). The beautiful beaches, soulful cuisine and Caribbean rhythm prop Jamaica to the #4 spot on our ultimate spring break destination countdown. If you’re familiar with any aspect of Caribbean cuisine, you’ll most probably have heard of jerk sauce – and let’s face it: who can resist spicy, sticky, crispy chicken?


Jerk sauce’s distinctive seasoning is credited to the African slaves who were brought to Jamaica by Spanish colonizers, and also introduced the cooking pits which are traditionally used to smoke and barbecue jerk meat. Today, you’ll find jerk huts all over Jamaica – in fact you may even catch a whiff of them before you leave the airport. Pork, goat and fish are prime candidates for smothering in jerk sauce, but we get weak in the knees when we think of jerk chicken. Some versions of the recipe call for a wet rub, usually soy-vinegar based, combined with jerk spices, garlic, lime and tomato paste. Although the soy-vinegar does add a wonderful umami flavour, we choose to leave it out in favour of a dry rub because it helps get the meat more crispy (plus it’s considered more authentic). If you’re not hopping back to the island any time soon, experience the flavours and aromas of the Caribbean in your very own kitchen in under 30 minutes: check out our recipe, available for free on our website.


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