About 8 miles east of Port Antonio on the Boston Beach is Boston Jerk Center, home of the authentic Jamaican Jerk. It is a mall of eateries focusing around jerk cooking; with 7 jerk pits smoking mainly chicken or pork seasoned and prepared with indigenous and authentic Jamaican spices.
It is a community where the traditions of this meat preparation techniques are passed down many generations. What brings most people to this destination is the famous Boston Jerk Festival which is usually held during the summers where various chefs and cooks compete and showcase their knowledge and skill in the art of Jerk.
According to the history, the Jamaican Jerk started in the mountains by the Maroons, who adapted Taino/Arawak techniques for preserving meat. Initially, this was wild boar, being cooked in pits in the ground with a slow long burning fire. This allowed the wrapped and buried pork to be cooked with some discreteness as they hid from the English. This method of roasting the pork would also trap most of the moisture into the meat leaving it tender and succulent.
In 1739 they were officially granted the lands so they did not need to hide from the English so cooking was above grown in a traditional jerk barbecue style, using sticks of pimento wood to hold the pork above a fire using various spices like pimento, scotch bonnet, thyme, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger to season which morph into the various bottled Jerk Seasonings Or Marinades.
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