Jamaica Jerk Cooking
History of Jerk, how Jamaicans use it

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Jamaican Jerk - A Brief History

Jerk is the Jamaican name for outdoor grilling, which traditionally has been done in 50 gallon drums split lengthwise and turned into grills. 

Anyone who travels around Jamaica on Saturdays will see these grills in operation almost everywhere.
Like watching sports on the weekends, it's just the thing to do.

Despite its odd name, jerk seasoning is among the best in the world...very spicy...very flavorful...sometimes very hot...but always incredibly delicious.

No one really knows how jerk got its name.  Some say because the meat is "jerked" on the grill by being turned over and over again.  Others say because the meat is jerked off the bone with a fork when it is served, what is called "pulled pork" in the U.S.

How the name came about doesn't really matter.   What is important about jerk is that it goes well on any kind of meat: beef, poultry, fish, lamb, whatever.  It can also be used to spice up a lot of vegetable dishes, such as rice and squash.  The only thing I haven't tried jerk on is eggs 

Commercially prepared jerk seasonings from Walkerswood outside Ocho Rios are becoming more available in grocery stores or easily purchased online. I don't think you can top Walkerswood jerk but if you are adventurous you can always make your own. Just be sure to put it in a glass jar.
Once you taste jerk, it will become a regular part of your diet.  The last time I was in Jamaica, I brought home 18 jars of 3 different varieties of seasonings that I purchased at the Walkerswood factory. 

When I run out, I'll be back to using some of the home-made jerk sauces until I can get back on the island.

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