What is Jamaican Jerk? (video)
The summer BBQ season is upon us. So what better time to finally add my Secret Jerk Sauce recipe to the website than now. To celebrate, all week I’ll be writing about Jamaican jerk starting with this brief history. The video below offers a simple overview.
Some historians believe that the word “jerk” derives from the Peruvian word “charqui,” a word for dried strips of meat now called Jerky in much of the world. Truthfully no one is really sure how the name came to be.
As mentioned in the video, jerk is a seasoning and cooking method first used by Jamaica’s original inhabitants, the Arawak Indians. The Maroons, a community of escaped slaves, are said to have learned the cooking and curing technique from the Indians as a way to preserve pork so it could be taken on journeys and eaten as is or chopped and reconstituted in boiling water.
Jerk is not something I grew up eating at home. It was always considered street food, and spicy jerk pork could be found at roadside Jerk “huts” in places like Boston Beach and Old Harbour.
Today jerk chicken is as popular as jerk pork and, this week, I’ll be sharing my Secret Jerk Sauce recipe with everyone on my mailing list as my gift to you! When you join my list on or after June 22 I will send it AND my Homemade Beef Patties recipes to you … so don’t wait. My Jerk Sauce recipe has a very authentic flavour that I’m excited to share it with you, along with my jerk cooking tips. Stay tuned this week for everything jerk!