Monday, September 06, 2010

Jamaican Jerk

Did You Know: The culinary style known as "Jamaican jerk" refers to a method of slow cooking meat, traditionally seasoned with or cooked over the wood of the pimento (allspice). The use of ahi (aji), the Taino word for pepper, pronounced "ah-hee," is another signature ingredient with "Scotch bonnet peppers" among the most widely used.  Additional spices were also incorporated and dry-rubbed or marinated into the meat. Locally, this tradition is said to go back more than 1,200 years to when indigenous Taino Peoples, the island's original inhabitants, used these methods before cooking the marinated meats over a type of  wooden grate called barbakoa. From this Taino term, the English word barbecue originates. The term jerk is said to originate from the word charqui, an indigenous word of Quechua origin for dried meat, which was incorporated into Spanish, eventually becoming jerky in English. -- UCTP Taino News © 2010