International Foods Project

Alexia Newkirk A2

Main Agricultural Products grown in Jamaica

The main food crops grown in Jamaica primarily by small farmers, are sweet potatoes and yams, rice, potatoes, manioc, tomatoes, and beans. Sugar is the leading export crop, produced mainly on plantations organized around modern sugar factories. Jamaican agriculture accounts for about 6% GDP less than in most countries.

Special Holiday Celebrations in Jamaica

Native Customs and Beliefs that relate to food in Jamaica

A "country" morning meal, called "drinking tea," includes boiled bananas or roasted breadfruit, sauteed callaloo with "saal fish" (salted cod), and "bush" (herbal) or "chaklit" (chocolate) tea. Afro-Jamaicans eat a midafternoon lunch as the main meal of the day. This is followed by a light meal of bread, fried plantains, or fried dumplings and a hot drink early in the evening. A more rigid work schedule has forced changes, and now the main meal is taken in the evening. This meal may consist of stewed or roasted beef, boiled yam or plantains, rice and peas, or rice with escoviched or fried fish.


Rice is a ubiquitous ceremonial food. Along with "ground provisions" such as sweet potato, yam, and green plantains, it is used in African and East Indian ceremonies. It also is served with curried goat meat as the main food at parties, dances, weddings, and funerals. Sacrificially slaughtered animals and birds are eaten in a ritual context. Several African-religious sects use goats for sacrifice, and in Kumina, an Afro-religious practice, goat blood is mixed with rum and drunk.

Native Dishes in Jamaica

Common Herbs and Spices Used In Jamaican Cooking