[Every morning started with this plate of fruit. A ritual I can get behind.]

[Jamaican brown stew chicken.]

[My dream kitchen.]

[Roadside vegan food from a shack called Vital Ital. There were lots of roadside vegan shacks run by rastafarians, and the style of food was amazingly similar to the kind of stuff me and my friends like to make at home — black beans simmered in coconut milk, nutty brown rice, chopped and stewed dark greens, boiled sweet potatoes. It was outstanding, really healthy and vibrant and simple.]

[A classic roadside steel drum jerk pan.]

[An ackee tree, heavy with fruit. A stiff breeze can knock a ripe ackee from its branch. These fruits were falling onto the ground constantly, I always had to keep an eye to the sky to make sure I wouldn't get beaned by a plummeting ackee.]

[The chef and his pickled (!) scotch bonnet peppers.]

[Tiny peppers picked from a bush. Do not eat!]

[Another delicious roadside jerk stop. Here, we had jerk pork (on the right), which was actually a little hard to come by in Jamaica. It was — dare I say it — a refreshing change of pace from all the jerk chicken. Also, I grew addicted to those oblong-shaped donuts at the top of the image. They're called 'festival,' and they were everywhere. I had them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They're a slightly sweet, deep-fried dumpling similar to a hush puppy. They're on my list of Jamaican dishes I need to replicate in my kitchen immediately.]

Jamaican Me Crazy Parts One, Two, and Three.


  1. yum, i love festival. you can get great festival on flatbush, in brooklyn.

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