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History of Jerk Hill Cafe

Barry and Millicent Bucknor have a reputation for their food. Millicent, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, loves cooking for big gatherings of family and friends. Barry, who hails from Montego Bay, Jamaica, makes a jerk chicken recipe that everybody enjoys.

Now his dream is a reality with the opening of Jerk Hill Café. And the passion that he and Millicent bring to their food, as well as the thought and planning they have put into starting the business, seem to bode well for this humble outpost of Jamaican home cooking.

Fish is another of Jerk Hill’s specialties. In addition to the Jamaican national dish that blends salted codfish and a savory fruit called ‘‘ackee”, Millicent prepares a variety of fish each day. Butterfish — Barry’s favorite because it’s a very meaty fish with only one bone — as well as codfish, kingfish, red snapper and other varieties are available fried and escoveitched with vinegar, onions and peppers.


Jamaican Jerk History

The term jerk is said to come from the word charqui, a Spanish term for jerked or dried meat, which eventually became jerky in English.

Another origin is linked to the jerking or poking of the meat with a sharp object, producing holes which were then filled with the spice mixture. Like most Caribbean islands, Jamaican foods are derivative of many different settlement cultures, including British, Dutch, French, Spanish, East Indian, West African, Portugese, and Chinese. The origins of jerk pork can be traced back to the pre-slavery days of the Cormantee hunters of West Africa through the Maroons, who were Jamaican slaves that escaped from the British during the invasion of 1655.

Jerk is the process of spicing and grilling meats, poultry, and even vegetables, although the most popular are jerk pork and jerk chicken. The resulting food yields a spicy-sweet flavor and a tender texture. Jerk is also used as a noun when describing the dry or wet seasoning mix used to jerk a particular food. Jerk shacks thrive on the side of the road in Jamaica as a local fast-food industry.

Be forewarned, if you cannot handle spicy-hot foods, jerk may not be for you. Deletion of the chile pepper vastly changes the end product, and it's just not jerk without the heat! Take a look at the three most important ingredients of jerk seasoning before trying an authentic Jamaican jerk recipe.

The island of Jamaica is famous for its beautiful beaches, reggae music, Blue Mountain coffee, exotic fruits, and its cheerful people with their beautiful patois language. But, you haven't tasted Jamaica until you've tried Jamaican Jerk, ya mon!



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