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Jerk the Authentic Way

It might break your heart to hear it, but jerk is no longer street food in Jamaica.  Oh no.  Jerk has long since shed its humble origins and gone upscale and indoors.  Jerk`s on the menu of every Caribbean restaurant with ratings from 1 to 5 stars:  It`s in the home of every Jamaican, handily packaged in a range of seasonings.  On the streets, jerk`s been replaced by its close cousin, pan chicken.  Does it matter?  Ask the purists.

There are those who say that pan chicken is basically glorified barbecued chicken.  If you want to have real jerk, you have to do it the old-fashioned way, perfected generations ago in Boston Bay, Portland.  Back then, jerk chefs dug a hole in the ground and lined it with coals.  They smoked chicken and pork over sweet wood, plum wood, or pimento logs.  The result was a meat so smoky and savory that it was worth a drive from the farthest points of the island.  
For the ordinary carnivore and jerk fan, any lovingly marinated piece of meat will do the trick.  But for jerk purists, Boston Bay is the way to go.  There, the jerk is served up with a sauce made of garlic, ginger, pimento berries, scotch bonnet, and wild cinnamon.  Jerk pork is still the star of the show – kept separate from all the other meats so as not to offend the growing Rastafarian and red-meat-hating patrons.  But pork now shares is billing with new favorites like jerk lobster and jerk chicken sausage.Truth is, there’s better jerk in Kingston, indoors.  But for the taste of history and tradition, you can’t beat a jerk meal on the side of the road in Boston Bay.

For real jerk, visit Carib Patties in Lachine.

Carib Patties
410 Saint Jacques, Lachine Quebec, H8R 1E8