When one visits another country, it’s expected that you will look up local foods to try out. In Jamaica, that food would have to be jerked. Jerk chicken, goat, or conch matters not – you have to try something jerked at least once.
We only had one opportunity, and it turned out to be a good one. At the back end of the Shoppes at Rose Hall lies a large deck with a bar at the back end. That deck and bar offer some very tasty jerk indeed.
The jerk chicken was plentiful, served with a couple of corn fritters and some generously hot and flavorful sauce. My partner and I were able to enjoy not only the signature dish of Jamaica, but had the added bonus of washing down with a Red Stripe.
We were able to explore the duty-free shops in the complex as well, most of them being typical of the tourist trade. There was a coffee house featuring Blue Mountain and High mountain coffees in both whole bean and ground varieties, several shops offering the gamut of tchotchkes from t-shirts to shot glasses, and the ever present round of jewelers.
One enterprising gentleman had a sidewalk display of wooden sculptures, two of which followed me home.
There was a vendor of fresh coconut, which he hacked open for visitors with a machete.
There were a few history lessons available.
Of course there were several individuals sporting local color.
Jamaica is an amazing place, even from what little we were able to cram into a single days visit. There is so much more to see, and we hope to be able to go back again and again.