A unique experience of Jamaica’s music and food
Although my first introduction to the country was from the movie Cool Runnings, I soon discovered the more authentic side of Jamaica. However, a growing love of Caribbean cuisine as well as ska and reggae music was always met with disappointment, as I was resigned to the fact I’d never get to visit.
But after casually browsing travel site, Dealchecker, I managed to find some really cheap holidays to Jamaica. Without hesitation I made a booking, packed my bags, jumped on the plane and experienced what I had always wanted.
Before popular rock steady and reggae artists like Desmond Dekker and Bob Marley gained notoriety across the world, the walking bass lines and upbeat drums of ska dominated Jamaica’s music culture.
As a big fan of Prince Buster and his first recordings at facilities such as Studio One and WIRL Records in Kingston, I was eager to discover more. Although these disappeared a long time ago, a visit to Reggae Xplosion in Ocho Rios is well worth a visit, as it features photographs, wall displays and even a re-creation of a Jamaican recording studio.
In the nation’s capital, the Bob Marley Museum is another great insight into Jamaica’s affection for music and one of the country’s best-loved sons.
In addition to the well-known jerk spice dishes, rice and peas, and fried plantain, other popular meals include curried goat, fried dumplings and the national dish of ackee and salt fish. With so many fresh ingredients and distinctive flavours on offer, I was spoilt for choice.
However, my favourite places to eat included the Blue Mountain Inn, located in an 18th century coffee plantation and Ocho Rios Village Jerk Centre, a genuine and mouth-watering taste of Jamaica. You may also want to check out Sugar Mill in Montego Bay, but it’s a good idea to call ahead for all of the above eateries.
For a quick bite to eat, you can be guaranteed to find delicious patties and pastries throughout the island. These local specialities did not disappoint!