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7 Authentic Jamaican Dishes Everyone Should Try

Most people who have ever had authentic Jamaican dishes have fallen in love with the flavors.

Jamaican cuisine is renowned worldwide for the unique combination of spices, fruits, vegetables, and more to create some of the most mouth-watering dishes. 

We wanted to create a list of your of 7 Jamaican dishes everyone should try. 

And of course, you can get them all from Island Flavors and Tings in Gulfport, FL.

Jerk Chicken

There are many island traditions and customs, but one of the most distinctive traditions is the cooking and serving of jerk chicken. Though it dates back to the first settlers of Jamaica, it is still very popular. 

Jerk chicken is usually served alongside a hearty salad or cabbage, a side of rice and peas, and of course, a drink. 

Curry Chicken 

One of the most famous dishes in Jamaican cuisine is curry chicken. Curry powder was brought to Jamaica and the West Indies by Indian immigrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries. 

It is often served as a main dish with potatoes and sometimes with carrots and white rice plus a vegetable medley.  


Made as a stew, oxtails also have a favorite in them. Jamaican oxtails include flour dumplings, also called spinners. The stew cooks slowly, so the meat falls off the bone. The braise that occurs to the meat is said to be even silkier in texture than short ribs.

The oxtails are made in a beef stew and usually include carrots and often over rice. Long ago, they were considered poor person’s food. However, today, Oxtails are an expensive meat, rivaling in cost to filet mignon.

Escovitch Fish

Traditionally made with Red Snapper Fish, Escovitch Fish is a dish where the whole fish is fried and topped with flavorful sauce and pickled onions, peppers, and carrots julienned. 

Typically served with rice, do not be surprised if you see others ordering it with our highly requested macaroni and cheese.

Beef Patty

This flaky treat is considered a snack, appetizer, side, or a meal depending on how you eat it and when.

The pastry patty is made with a flaky dough typically in a deep yellow color. Inside of the dough is a spicy filling of beef in which scotch bonnet peppers provide the source of heat. 

Eaten by placing the entire whole patty inside of a large piece of coco bread, many Jamaicans consider this sandwich a filling meal.

Rice and Peas

Jamaican Rice and Peas have to be the most popular dish served at nearly every dinner table across the island and in every Jamaican restaurant. 

The rice and peas are typically infused with coconut, Caribbean herbs, ginger, and other spices. Often served with dark red kidney beans. It is one of the most flavourful side dishes for family dinners. 

Fried Dumplings/Johnny Cakes

These balls of dough that rise when fried to make pillowy balls of what will remind you of biscuits is a sought-after item to complete a meal.

It is perfect for eating any time of day and with many Jamaican dishes and meals, particularly the ones made with stew. However, you will often see it served during traditional Jamaican-style breakfast.


While there are many more dishes we can describe to you later, it goes without saying, nothing compares to the traditional Jamaican dishes. This is why at Island Flavors and Tings, we strive to serve them as you would find if you were in the home of any family in Jamaica.

During your next visit to Island Flavors and Tings, ask us about any dishes you may not have tried before. Our staff will gladly help to guide you to some of the local favorites.


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Island Flavors and Tings

A unique showplace of the cultural richness of the Caribbean Islands. Shop groceries and accessories. Dine on the finest Jamaican cuisine at our location or yours. Chill to the reggae riddims and take worrying about your meal off your list.

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