Because of his superlative exploits, Usain Bolt helped give the rural Jamaican parish of Trelawny an international profile. The yams he supposedly ate as a boy there, helped make him the world’s greatest athlete.
Yam and other staples of Jamaican cuisine will be on show at the first Falmouth Food Festival, scheduled for Falmouth, Trelawny’s chief town.
According to Jeffrey Brown, a spokesperson for the event, patrons will get a thorough experience of Jamaican food culture — from contemporary delights savored by Bolt and dancehall’s elite artists, to down-home food legends like folklorist Louise Bennett and Bob Marley enjoyed.
To date, fifty vendors have confirmed their participation.
“We are in communication with a number of sponsors who also want a food festival with a difference; one that celebrates the greatness of Jamaican cuisine,” said Brown.
The Falmouth Food Festival comprises five areas:
Jerk Village — Where delicacies (chicken, pork, fish, etc) using Jamaican herbs and spices will be showcased.
Fisherman’s Shack — Catering to seafood aficionados.
Culture Yard — Traditional Jamaican food such Ackee and Saltfish, Callaloo, Roast Yam and Saltfish, and Drops (gratered coconut) takes pride of place.
Farmers’ Market — Where patrons can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.
Vegan Delight — ‘Raw’ and ‘live’ food will presented in this area.
Each compartment, Brown stressed, will be presented in a manner that appeals to a diverse demographic.
“We want people to see how we prepare our foods and how much we create art with our food,” he said.
With tourists consistently pointing to food among the main reasons they visit Jamaica, the country’s government has aggressively invested in what it calls “culinary and gastronomy tourism”. Jerked food, long a staple with Jamaicans, has become a favorite with celebrities and is a must-have at leading hotels including sandals and Superclubs.
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