You will have many opportunities to eat the national dish of rice and “peas” (which are actually red beans). Other familiar tastes include bananas, oranges and coconut. Perhaps less familiar are fresh guava, papaya, mangoes and breadfruit. “Jerk” chicken (similar to our BBQ) abounds in restaurants as well as roadside stands. “Tasty Paddies” and ginger beer (non-alcoholic, i.e. root beer) will round out your standard Jamaican fast food fare.
Jamaica’s history is told by the food Jamaicans eat. The cassava the Arawaks grew is used today as “bammie,” a toasted flat cake eaten with fried fish. The Maroons, always on the run, devised a way of spicing and slow cooking pork that they called “jerking.” To feed the slaves cheaply and well, the ackee fruit was brought from Africa, as were breadfruit and a variety of yams and root vegetables.