History Of Jerk

“Jerk” is the process of marinating meat and poultry with spices and herbs and grilling over hot coals until mouth-wateringly tender and infused with hot, spicy Caribbean flavour.

The origin of the word is uncertain – some historians believe it comes from the Spanish word “charqui”, a term for dried meat (“jerky” comes from this root, too), others claim that the term comes from the poking of the meat with a sharp object to achieve penetration of the seasoning (in Caribbean patois, to “jook” means to poke – the origin, though uncertain, is believed to be from a West African language).

The history of the technique of “jerking”, however, can be traced back to the Maroons of Jamaica, the slaves who escaped from the British into the hills of Jamaica, during the 1655 invasion.

The main ingredients in jerk seasoning are scotch bonnet pepper, pimento berries (allspice) and aromatic thyme and these spices and herbs, when combined with local scallion, onion and garlic and other seasonings, produce a marinade that’s full of flavour and spice.

Rubbed well into the meat/poultry and left to marinate overnight, jerk seasoning infuses the meat with hot, spicy flavours, while tenderizing and preserving at the same time.

When gently cooked over hot coals, on a BBQ, or in the oven, the result is succulent, truly flavourful food that reflects the cultural heritage and traditions of Caribbean cooking.

Yeah mon!