You may have come across a few videos on the internet with people who claim to be cooking “Jamaican food”. But many of these videos are Jamaican only in name. More than anything, these “Jamaican recipes” have become a great source of humour for Jamaicans at home and abroad who can spot a fake from a mile away. Here’s how you can recognize a fake Jamaican video recipe.
Pay attention to the seasonings
One of the biggest giveaways to knowing that a purported Jamaican recipe isn’t the real deal is the seasonings they use (or don’t use). Jamaican seasonings have a distinct flavour and many recipes call for certain herbs and spices to achieve that authentic taste. These seasonings are essential to the recipe and if the cook feels that it can do without them, that’s definitely not a Jamaican dish.
It looks nothing like a Jamaican recipe
If it’s one thing with Jamaicans, we know our food and every Jamaican can spot a true Jamaican recipe when they see it. So, if someone claims that a recipe is Jamaican but the final product looks like nothing you’ve ever seen your mother or grandmother cook before, then chances are that it’s a fake.
The food wasn’t precleaned
We are proud of our obsession with clean food, and that includes a thorough cleaning before cooking. Chicken and meats are precleaned with vinegar and/or lime juice and even the rice is washed before cooking. Any cook who feels that it’s okay to skip this step shouldn’t be cooking Jamaican food.
The food has no colour
When done right, many Jamaican recipes have a distinct colour. Rice and peas, jerk chicken, and potato pone are just a few foods that are expected to have a distinct colour when they are cooked properly. One reason for this is because we like our food well done. Rare or undercooked food is a definite no-no so foods that are white or colourless cannot pass as Jamaican.
It has a weird name
Everyone wants a piece of the Jamaican culture it seems and unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for people to tack the Jamaican name onto a recipe that has nothing to do with the island. The video is an obvious fraud if the first time anyone heard of this “Jamaican recipe” is when it popped up on the internet.