Saint Lawrence Gap, Christ Church, Barbados (MaDeRe). Jerk is to Jamaica what Weissbier and Weisswurst are to Bavaria, but much spicier. Although jerk is not only a spice blend, but also a way of preparing traditional ingredients, you may put it this way, but also this way: jerk is a type of kitchen skill native to Jamaica, where meat is dry rubbed and only then marinated with a hot spice blend called Jamaican Jerk Spice.

The name probably comes from Castilian. Charqui means drying meat for them. And in Jaimaika, charqui became jerk in the course of time.

While the name came from the Old World, the method probably originated with Jamaica’s Arawak Indians, who not only made a virtue out of the need to preserve meat, but also great dishes. The taste of jerk and the irresistible aroma have survived the decades and centuries until today.

The meat, mostly pork and poultry, but also fish, why not, is slowly cooked over a smoking wood fire. Crayfish can also be deliciously prepared in this way. The smoky flavour of the meat is achieved in this traditional way in barrels converted into smokers, in which pine wood „cokes“, but also in other, modern ways instead of smokers. There’s no question that when it comes to smoking, it all depends on the wood. Some swear by beech, others by oak, but alder and birch, apple and cherry are also suitable and give the smoke aroma inherent in them.

However, the main ingredient for chicken and pork is and remains the spicy jerk marinade sauce, which contains allspice and scotch bonnet peppers as well as ginger, nutmeg, thyme, salt and brown sugar.

Jerk cooking is well known and popular throughout the Caribbean, including in Barbados, for example at the Jerk Shack at the Sandals Royal Barbados in the area called Saint Lawrence Gap in the Christ Church district.

This jerk shack there, however, is a more or less modern hut. In Jamaica, on the other hand, the walls of the small huts are often made of thin wood. They resemble boards. Corrugated iron on top, done. Sometimes these jerk shacks are lined up like pearls on a string along country roads. Where people drive quickly through the country, snack bars and fast food restaurants are worthwhile, but obviously also where they neither can nor want to cook.

And what drinks are there to go with the food? Sure, Coke and fizzy drinks. They have to be cold for the sugar water to taste good. It’s no different at the Jerk Shack. And that’s a good thing as a reminiscence!

In addition to chicken and pork, the Jerk Shack also serves sausages, which are accompanied by jerk mild, medium or hot, also called „hellfire“.Just don’t reach for the ketchup like culturally and culinarily poor Yanks with possibly bulging wallets.

Above all, try „pork“ and „chicken“ with all three non-liquid spice pastes called „sauces“ and be sure to order the „roast sweet potato“ as well.And treat yourself to „Hard Dough Bread“, which is prepared according to a traditional Jamaican recipe.

Jerk Shack

Adresse: Sandals Royal Barbados, Maxwell Gardens, Oistins, St Lawrence Gap, Barbados

Kontakt: Telefon: +18887263257

Kleiderordnung: Resort Casual, also lässig, locker und flockig, auch mit Shorts, Shirt und Sandalen im Sandals

Öffnungszeiten: täglich von 11 Uhr bis 17 Uhr

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Stefan Pribnow ist Chefredakteur des neuen Magazin des Reisens. Und das ist gut so.