Jamaican jerk spice is a complex hot and spicy seasoning that is either wet or dry and used as a rub to marinate and cook various types of proteins. Jamaican Scotch Bonnet Pepper, its main ingredient responsible for the heat in the spice, is one of the hottest chili peppers in the world. Other ingredients include allspice and a variety of Caribbean spices. Jerk is also a cooking technique applied to many different types of food, mostly proteins, including chicken, pork, goat, beef ribs, fish, shellfish, tofu, and others. Jamaican jerk seasoning and cooking has become very popular in the US and Western Europe. The majority of Caribbean Restaurants in Boston feature some type of jerk dish on their menus.
The process of jerking is similar to barbecuing and is often done over an open flame. In Jamaica, the best jerk food is barbequed in a fire pit underground. Jamaican jerk spice is said to have African roots. The spice and technique was perfected by Africans who settled in Portland, where the town of Boston in the Parish of Portland, Jamaica, where today, an annual festival celebrates authentic jerk. Our Boston Jerkfest™ will pay homage to Boston, Jamaica, the home of real Jamaican jerk!