Jamaica is known around the globe for its unique cuisine and innovative use of spices that’s made an indelible mark on the world of food. Visitors flock to restaurants to experience jerk pork and other delicacies, but few encounter authentic Jamaican snacks. The following are the Top 10 favorites snacks with which every Jamaican is familiar and visitors must try.
1. Big Foot
Ideal for cheese lovers, the puffed cheese snack is fashioned in the shape of a three-toed foot. It’s available in cheesy, spicy and hot flavors.
2. Blue Drawers
Also known as Dukunu, it’s a combination of cornmeal, raisins and sugar, blended with nutmeg, vanilla, coconut milk, and sugar. The mixture is placed in a banana leaf, boiled in hot water until the ingredients are cohesive, and eaten directly from the banana leaf.
3. Coconut Drops
This is a “drop cookie” made with dried coconut, sugar, ginger and local spices for a sweet and savory sensation. They’re dropped on tin foil and left to dry before being consumed.
4. Cornmeal Pudding
More of a soft cake than a pudding, cornmeal is mixed with coconut milk, flour, sugar, vanilla, and raisins. It’s baked until it attains a frothy top.
These have garnered the common name of “pink-on-tops” due to the splash of bright pink coconut on each cake. They’re a sweet mix of grated coconut and sugar.
The popular snack combines vegetables with meat, chicken or seafood that forms the filling for a golden brown crust that can be made from corn, coco or raisin bread, or sugar or spice buns.
7. Peppered Shrimp
Also known as “swims,” visitors will find the spicy street food stuffed into handy plastic bags and ready to eat. They’re flavored with Scotch Bonnet peppers, butter, onions, lemon, paprika and garlic.
Made from sliced green bananas and deep fried in vegetable oil, the chips are seasoned with salt and other spices for a crunchy snack.
9. Tamarind Balls
The fruit of the tamarind is shaped into balls and rolled in sugar. It’s a great take-along snack for quick energy.
This is a cake that blends coconut flakes, brown sugar and raisins, along with optional ingredients of dried berries and fruit, that’s ideal for anyone with a sweet tooth.
11. Jamaican Chippies Banana Chip
Chippies Banana Chips is a favorite of Jamaicans. Once you try them they will also become one of your favorites too.