When one thinks of Jamaica a few things come to mind: white sandy beaches, Reggae music, and Jamaican Jerk. Jerk cooking is 100% Jamaican right down to its very core. Fragrant, savory, sweet and tenaciously hot, jerk is truly a part of Jamaica’s history and can be traced back hundreds of years (at least since the middle of the seventeenth century) to the Maroons. The Maroons would blend an array of spices and herbs that they would later use to marinate and cook the wild game they hunted. This led to the invention of the now famous “Jamaican Jerk”. American writer and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston once recounted an overnight boar hunt with the Maroons in 1939: “Towards morning we ate our fill of jerk chicken. It is better than our American barbecue.
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