More than three-quarters of Americans report they enjoy eating ethnic food when dining out. The problem is, they say, finding authentic fare. But what many forget is all ethnic cuisine is really a fusion of the indigenous foods of a place with those of the traders and invaders who have passed through. Each group of outsiders brings new crops to a region and different ways to use the local ones. Traditional cooking methods are modified to accommodate newly acquired utensils and techniques, while commercially made foods eventually replace homemade. Being open to new flavors and “food fusions” is a perfect way to celebrate National Ethnic Foods Month this September.
Best Ethnic Foods - Jamaican
Influences: Spain, Britain, Africa, India, China, Rastafarian
Classic Dishes: Curry goat with rice and pigeon peas,Jerk chicken, Dried and salted cod (national dish) with Ackee (national fruit), Callaloo (vegetable dish made from amaranth), Jamaican patties (turnovers filled with meat, fish and/or vegetables)
Notable Flavors: Scotch bonnet (pepper), Tamarind, Coconut, Allspice, Thyme, Black pepper, Garlic, Escallion (Welch onion)