JAMAICAN JERK SAUCE- —PALATE “MAJIC” FROM JAMAICA
A popular destination for travelers from around the world, Jamaica is known not only for its beautiful beaches, pristine waters, coral reefs, and the legalization of that green leafy substance that many Americans are flocking to Colorado for—Jamaica is as famous for being the birthplace of Reggae music, Bob Marley, and the bobsled team that inspired the movie, as it is for the MAJIC— the Most Amazing Jerk Intentionally Created. Sauce, that is!
Now, before we get into the recipe to make Jamaican Jerk sauce a part of your tasteful future—let’s take a quick minute to discover its meaningful history.
Of African origins, Jamaican jerk sauce can be traced back to the pre-slavery days of the Coromantee hunters of West Africa. What is now known as “jerk” refers to the spice rub, wet marinade, and particular cooking technique these African people brought to Jamaica with them as Spanish Slaves. It was the invasion of Jamaica by the British in 1655 that caused the Spanish colonist to flee leaving behind these creative pre-culinary arts geniuses.
Escaping into the mountain regions of Jamaica and later being absorbed into the local culture, they would elude being re-enslaved by the British. The MAJIC that began in 1655, in 2015, has spawned a following in the United States, Western Europe and other parts of the world, to join Jamaica’s tropical neighbors. What’s more is this West African process for drying meat now known as “jerking” (in English), gave rise to one of America’s most popular meaty snacks: beef jerky. According to an article in the Washington Post in January of this year: the market for beef jerky has ballooned into nearly a 1.5 Million dollar market in the United States alone. Exactly 360 years since its introduction to the West, now known as Jamaican Jerk, there seems to have been a complete 360 moving in every direction of it’s influence.
Now, just as the Coromantee people of West Africa were forced to modify the basic ingredients of the original sauce and use what was available to them in their new home, the global spread in “palate popularity” of Jamaican jerk over hundreds of years, has yielded a vast number of culture influenced twists. Of course today is no different than the many yesterday(s) ago—many of those who have success by following the basic recipe will come to add their own personal touch for a uniqueness that’s all their own. I suspect this was the case with those who gave this MAJIC to the world.
The MAJIC in the form of the dry rubbed or wet marinade seasoning is traditionally applied to meat. Today the MAJIC is added to tofu, and my favorite—vegetables, this is an awesome way to jazz up a plant based diet. The two main ingredients are allspice (called pimento in Jamaica) and Scotch bonnet peppers. Other ingredients may include: cloves, cinnamon, scallions, nutmeg, thyme, brown, sugar, ginger, and salt. For Chef TR’s special version of the Jamaican Jerk Sauce check out the recipe below as you follow along with the video above.
For now you have all you need to make your own Palate MAJIK from Jamaica!! Enjoy, and don’t forget the Reggae music—you’ll find plenty of create choices to set the mood, on YouTube.
Jamaican Jerk Sauce Recipe:
3 tablespoons ground allspice
1⁄4 cup molasses
1⁄4 maple syrup
6 -8 garlic cloves
2-3 scotch bonnet peppers (deseed if you want less heat)
1 tablespoon ground thyme or 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
1 -2 bunch scallion (green onions)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos
Juice of one lime
salt and pepper
Follow instructions in the video above.