Imagine Jamaica 50

Five Jamaican Foods & Drinks We Gave the World – Countdown to Jamaica’s 50th Independence

Here are our picks of “5 Jamaican Foods & Drinks” that Jamaica has given the world. During the year leading up to Jamaica’s 50th Independence on August 6, 2012, each week we’ll be compiling a list of things celebrating Jamaican foods, music, culture, people and more. Feel free post your top Jamaican foods and drinks.

Blue Mountain

Blue Mountain Coffee – The Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is known worldwide for its great unique flavor. It’s one of the world’s most expensive and sought-after coffees. Even though 80% of all Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is exported to Japan, you can find it almost anywhere in the world in upscale coffee shops.

Jerk Pork-2

Jerk Chicken and Pork – The Jerk style of cooking originated in Jamaica but has developed a following internationally. Meats are dry-rubbed and/or marinated with Jamaican jerk spice/sauce and smoked over pimento wood charcoal on an open fire in a pit. Today many use a “drum pan” (old oil barrel) rather than an open pit. The Jerk style of cooking was traditionally used on pork and chicken, but now has been extended to many modern recipes including fish, shrimp, shellfish, beef, sausage, and tofu.

Jamaican Ting

Ting Jamaican Grapefruit Drink – Ting is non-alcoholic beverage produced by  Desnoes & Geddes Limited  that has become popular world wide. It was first produced in 1976 and is flavored with Jamaican grapefruit juice. It is tart and sweet. It green and yellow packaging is recognizable internationally as truly a Jamaican drink.

Jamaican Beef Patty

Jamaican Patty –  The Jamaican patty is one of Jamaica biggest exports and can be found worldwide.  Don’t be surprised if you see Jamaican patties in an airport in Europe. The world has discovered what we Jamaicans have known for years; a couple of patties can be eaten as a full meal. The traditional patty filling was ground beef but in modern times the fillings include chicken, vegetables, shrimp, lobster, fish, soy, ackee, mixed vegetables and cheese.

Red Strip Beer
Photo from Red Strip Beer

Red Stripe Beer – The popular Jamaican Red Stripe beer is recognized worldwide. The beer is brewed by Desnoes & Geddes Limited, originally a soft drink manufacturer that started in Jamaica on July 31, 1918. It’s unique packing and entertaining advertising campaign has lifted the Red Stripe to an international level.

About the author

Dr. Claire Nelson

Dr. Claire Nelson has been actively engaged in the business of international development for more than twenty-five years. She works in the area of project development and management, with a particular focus on private sector development. A renaissance woman, she has been described as a Social Entrepreneur, Futurist, and Change Leader.

The first Jamaican woman to earn a Doctorate degree in an engineering discipline and the only black in her graduating class, Dr. Nelson holds Industrial Engineering Degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo, Purdue University, and a Doctorate in Engineering Management from George Washington University. She has served on numerous boards and committees including: US Department of Commerce US/Caribbean Business Development Council Advisory Board; Black Leadership Forum; DC Caribbean Carnival Association; International Think Tank Commission on Pan-African Affairs, Office of the Prime Minister of Barbados; African-American Unity Caucus; National Democratic Institute/Carter Center Election Observer Mission to the Dominican Republic; Black Professionals in International Affairs; and the International Committee of the National Society of Black Engineers-Alumni Extension.

Dr. Nelson is sought after as a speaker on issues pertaining to economic development, globalization, and issues concerning the Caribbean and its peoples. She is a frequent guest on the television talk show CARIBNATION seen on cable TV in the Washington D.C. area, as well as CARIBBEAN EXCHANGE on WEAA, Morgan University Radio. Her speaking engagements have included: National Association of Security Professionals; Congressional Black Caucus Conference; Harvard University Black MBA Association Conference; Women & Micro-enterprise Conference, African Development Bank; Florida International University; Cincinnati Women's Chamber of Commerce; US Black Engineer of the Year Annual Conference; Howard University; Sacramento State University; National Council of Negro Women; and National Congress of Black Women.

Dr. Nelson has been a frontrunner in the challenge of placing the topic of social exclusion and diversity on the agenda of the multilateral development assistance institutions. As a result of her pioneering work, she was invited to the Salzburg Seminar as a Fellow in 1997 and 1999 of the Seminars on Race and Ethnicity, in 2000 and 2003 to the Fetzer Institute Advisory Group on Moral, Ethical and Spiritual Leadership; and as Faculty at the Seminar on Leadership Across Geographic Borders and Cultural Boundaries. Dr. Nelson was also a participant in the Bellagio Consultation on the UN World Conference on Racism (WCAR) organized by the International Human Rights Law Group, and was active on the Working Group on Globalization and Transnational Corporations.
Dr. Nelson is Ideation Leader of The Futures Forum which provides strategic foresight and development futures consulting practice. An award-winning writer and performance artiste, Dr. Nelson's OpEd pieces have appeared in media outlets such as Morning Edition, National Public Radio; WEAA FM and WHUR FM; and CaribNation TV.