Jamaica's Summer Sizzle
By Vikki Ashton
This sizzling party is a Caribbean foodie traveller “must,” because this annual festival showcases the best in authentic jerk dishes with tastings, local chef cook-offs and fantastic master demonstrations. And that's not all! Celebrations also extend to a full day of family-friendly outdoor fun with live entertainment, on-stage performances and even an amateur hour music competition.
The Montego Bay Jerk Festival is held every year on Jamaica's Emancipation Day, which marks the very day in 1834 that slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire. This festival truly embraces the island's rich history and heritage through jerk cooking. The originators of jerk cooking are the Jamaican Maroons, a group of escaped slaves who established free communities in Jamaica's mountains in the 17th century. The Maroons prepared the meat of wild pigs with a secret blend of seasonings and spices and roasted it underground. Today, the Maroons continue to flourish on the same lands as their freed ancestors, and their culinary contribution has been celebrated worldwide.