As Christmas is fast approaching, Jamaicans across the world are perhaps in the midst of making preparations for the festivities of the season, more specifically, for Christmas dinner. If not already bought, it is quite likely that Jamaicans across the world are scouring markets and supermarkets for some Christmas dinner essentials.
To make sure you don’t miss anything, here is a list of nine items to add to your Jamaican Christmas dinner shopping list:
Essential for your sorrel drink, pimento fly off the shelves as fast as a middle-income salary in this economy. If you haven’t already put your sorrel to soak for the holidays but intend on having it at dinner, be sure to grab some pimento.
The same goes for sorrel, its the super star in most markets especially if you are shopping abroad and in Jamaica. So, if you’re behind on your soaking or planning to entertain guests over the weeks, stocking up is wise.
If you aren’t going for the typical Jamaican Rice and Red Peas this year, remember that these take a village to shell gungo peas so the earlier you can get them the better.
It might seem unlikely that stores will run short on rum, but you’d be surprised how often it’s used in holiday recipes. This is especially true if you’re aiming for that heavy Jamaican Christmas cake.
Lime or Lime Juice
A few squeeze adds depth of flavor to the Jamaican Christmas cake and festive drinks so it becomes hot commodity inside the Christmas market.
These are rare in the Jamaican market. If you plan to roast a ham, you won’t regret grabbing cloves early.
After the second week of December, ginger becomes as scarce as teeth in a baby. So, unless you know a man (a farmer), be sure to stock up now.
Raisins and Dried Fruits for the Cake
Forgetting these is a common mishap. You won’t remember until baking day, and by then, it might be too late to find them in stores.
In Jamaica or elsewhere where a gas stove is the go-to, it’s almost a tradition for the gas to run out mid-cooking during the Christmas feast. Avoid the hassle and get an extra cylinder if you can.
Bonus: Love and Laughter
While not something you can buy, no Jamaican Christmas dinner is complete without a hearty dose of love and laughter. Make sure your shopping list includes plans to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere for all who gather around your table. This Christmas, embrace the joy and spirit of the season with these essential items. Whether you’re celebrating in Jamaica or abroad, these ingredients will help you create a memorable and delicious feast for your loved ones. Happy holidays!