Jamaican cuisine is renowned for its bold flavours and mouthwatering dishes, but have you ever wondered which snacks you should eat when you visit Jamaica? Of course, you can not try them all if you are only vacationing for a few days on the island. In this post, we’ll introduce you to a wide variety of Jamaican snacks while highlighting their distinctive tastes and textures.
Jamaican snacks are a lovely way to explore the tastes and culture of this Caribbean paradise. They range from savoury pastries to sweet desserts and crunchy chips, from traditional favourites like roast breadfruit and cornmeal pudding to popular packed snacks like plantain chips and cheese trix. Jamaica has a vast selection of delectable delights to suit every palate.
Jamaican Jerk Chicken: Finger-Licking Goodness
While not traditionally considered a snack, Jamaican jerk chicken is often enjoyed as a finger food. This tantalising dish features marinated chicken grilled or smoked over wood or coal and seasoned with a blend of aromatic spices and herbs. Its bold flavours make it a must-try for any food lover.
Roast Corn: A Street Food Delight
Roast corn is a popular street food snack in Jamaica. Fresh corn on the cob is roasted over an open flame or coal fire until it becomes tender and slightly charred. Often seasoned with butter, salt, and pepper, roast corn is a flavorful and satisfying treat.
Saltfish Fritters: Flavorful and Crispy
Saltfish fritters, also known as stamp and go, are bite-sized fritters made with salted codfish, flour, and seasonings. The mixture is deep-fried until golden and crispy, resulting in a savoury and satisfying snack that pairs well with sauces or can be enjoyed on its own.
Roast Breadfruit: A Seasonal Delicacy
Roast breadfruit is a beloved Jamaican snack that is best enjoyed when breadfruit is in season. The fruit is roasted over an open flame until the skin becomes charred and the flesh turns tender. Roast breadfruit is often served with a pat of butter, enhancing its rich and earthy flavours. It can also be enjoyed alongside other dishes as a delightful accompaniment.
Bammy: A Traditional Cassava Flatbread
Bammy is a traditional Jamaican flatbread made from cassava. The cassava root is grated, squeezed to remove the liquid, and then formed into flat discs. Bammy can be soaked in coconut milk to soften it or fried until crispy, offering a versatile snack option. Whether enjoyed on its own or as a side dish, bammy showcases the unique flavours of cassava.
Baked and Packaged Snacks:
Patties: A Savoury Delight
Jamaican patties are savoury pastries that are a staple snack. These flaky delights are filled with seasoned meats such as beef, chicken, or vegetable fillings. Perfect for a quick and satisfying bite, patties are loved for their delicious flavours and portable nature.
Gizzada: Sweet and Spicy Pastries
Gizzada, also known as pinch-me-round or gizzarda, is a Jamaican pastry filled with a sweet and spicy coconut filling. The crust is made with flour, butter, and sugar, while the filling combines grated coconut, ginger, nutmeg, and brown sugar. Gizzada offers a delightful balance of flavours in a convenient handheld snack.
Bulla Cake: A Sweet and Spiced Snack
Bulla cake is a dense, sweet, and spiced Jamaican snack. Made with flour, molasses, spices like ginger and nutmeg, and sometimes raisins, these small cakes are baked until golden brown. Bulla cakes offer a flavorful and satisfying treat with a unique texture.
Sugar Bun: Soft and Sweet Indulgence
Sugar buns are a popular soft and sweet bun in Jamaica. Made with ingredients such as molasses, spices, raisins, and sometimes stout or rum, this bun offers a rich and flavorful experience. Often enjoyed with a slice of cheese, sugar buns are perfect for satisfying cravings throughout the day, whether as a snack or a breakfast option.
Rock Cake: A Lightly Spiced Snack
Rock cake, also known as rock bun, is a crumbly and lightly spiced Jamaican snack. Made with ingredients like flour, sugar, butter, dried fruit, and spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg, these cakes have a rugged appearance and a slightly crunchy texture. Rock cakes are perfect for enjoying with a cup of tea or as a quick and flavorful snack.
Grater Cake: A Sweet Coconut Delight
Grater cake, also known as coconut cake, is a delightful Jamaican sweet treat. It is made by combining grated coconut, sugar, and spices and then cooking the mixture on the stovetop until it thickens. Once cooled, it can be pressed into moulds or cut into squares. Grater cake showcases the tropical flavours of coconut and provides a satisfyingly sweet snack.
Cornmeal Pudding: A Comforting Dessert and Snack
Cornmeal pudding is a comforting Jamaican dessert that can also be savoured as a snack. Made with cornmeal, coconut milk, spices, and sweeteners like brown sugar or condensed milk, this pudding offers a dense, custard-like texture. Baked until firm, it has a delightful blend of flavours that include the creaminess of coconut and the warmth of spices.
Plantain Chips: Crunchy and Flavorful
Plantain chips are thinly sliced and deep-fried to create crispy snacks that are immensely popular in Jamaica. These chips are made from ripe plantains, offering a unique twist on the traditional potato chip. Enjoy them on their own, or pair them with your favourite dips for an extra burst of flavour.
Coconut Drops: Chewy Tropical Treats
Coconut drops are sweet, chewy treats made with fresh coconut, sugar, and spices. The mixture is boiled until it thickens and is then dropped onto a greased surface to cool and harden. These delectable snacks are bursting with tropical flavours and are a favourite among locals and visitors alike.
Bammy: Traditional Cassava Flatbread
Bammy is a traditional Jamaican flatbread made from cassava. The cassava root is grated, squeezed to remove the liquid, and then formed into flat discs. Bammy is typically fried or baked and can be enjoyed on its own or as a side dish with fish or meat.
Peanut Drops: Sweet and Nutty Delights
Peanut drops are a popular sweet snack in Jamaica. Boiled peanuts are combined with sugar and spices to create a sticky syrup, which is then dropped onto a greased surface to cool and harden. These nutty treats offer a delightful combination of sweetness and crunch.
Cheese Trix: A Cheesy and Crunchy Delight
Cheese Trix is a beloved Jamaican snack that combines the flavours of cheese and crackers. These bite-sized cheese-flavoured crackers can be enjoyed on their own or paired with dips and spreads. Their cheesy and crunchy texture makes them a go-to snack for many Jamaicans and snack enthusiasts alike.
Plantain Chips: A Crispy Caribbean Delight
Plantain chips are thinly sliced and fried plantains that are seasoned with salt or other spices. They offer a satisfying crunch and a distinct flavour that is slightly sweet with a hint of savoury. Plantain chips are a popular snack in Jamaica, enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.
Excelsior Water Crackers: A Classic Jamaican Staple
Excelsior Water Crackers are a timeless Jamaican snack that has stood the test of time. These thin and crispy crackers can be enjoyed on their own or paired with cheese, spreads, or dips. Their simplicity and versatility make them a beloved choice for snacking or as an accompaniment to various dishes.
National Ginger Biscuits: A Spiced Delight
National Ginger Biscuits capture the essence of Jamaican spices with their deliciously spiced ginger flavour. These soft-textured cookies are a favourite among Jamaicans, providing a comforting and aromatic snack option. The warm and soothing taste of ginger adds a distinct touch to these delightful treats.
Holiday Big Foot: Cheesy Fun in Every Bite
Holiday Big Foot Cheese Trix adds an element of whimsy to snacking with its fun foot-shaped snacks. These cheese-flavoured treats are irresistibly cheesy, crunchy, and addictive. The combination of playful shapes and satisfying flavours makes them a hit among snack enthusiasts of all ages.
National Oatmeal Raisins & Cinnamon Cookies: Soft and Chewy Indulgence
National Raisin Cookies are a delightful snack option for those seeking a touch of sweetness. These soft and chewy cookies are packed with plump raisins, offering bursts of fruity flavour with every bite. Perfect for enjoying on their own or pairing with a hot cup of tea, these cookies provide a comforting snacking experience.
Cutters Corn Curls: A Twist on Cheese Puffs
Cutters Corn Curls are a crunchy corn-based snack that adds a distinct Jamaican twist to the popular cheese puff concept. Available in flavours like cheese, spicy, and barbecue, these corn curls deliver a satisfying crunch and a burst of flavour. They showcase the creativity and diversity of Jamaican snack offerings.
Sunshine Snacks Cashew Nuts: A Nutty Delight
Sunshine Snacks Cashew Nuts combine the nutty goodness of roasted cashews with a blend of savoury spices. This crunchy snack offers a delightful texture and a slightly spicy kick. The fusion of flavours creates a unique snacking option that celebrates the richness of Jamaican ingredients.
National Giant Bread: A Jamaican Staple
National Giant Bread is a dense and slightly sweet bread that is a staple in Jamaica. Perfect for toasting or enjoying as a snack with butter or cheese, this bread offers a satisfying and comforting experience. Its hearty texture and subtle sweetness make it a versatile and beloved snack option.
Wibisco Shirley Biscuits: Crunchy Delights in Every Bite
Wibisco Shirley Biscuits are a popular Jamaican biscuit brand that offers a crunchy and tasty snacking option. Available in flavours like vanilla, chocolate, and coconut, these biscuits provide a range of flavours to suit different preferences. Their crispy texture and delightful taste make them a go-to choice for snack lovers.
Jamaican snacks are a reflection of the island’s rich culinary heritage and offer a tantalising range of flavours and textures. From savoury pastries like patties and saltfish fritters to sweet treats like coconut drops and bulla cake, the snacks of Jamaica are sure to satisfy any craving. Whether you’re exploring the streets of Jamaica or browsing the shelves of a supermarket, be sure to indulge in these delightful snacks and experience the vibrant tastes of this Caribbean paradise.