What’s in a name? If you’re talking about jerk seasoning, there’s actually quite a lot – especially in terms of spices and savor and stories. There is no definitive answer to when, where, and how jerk seasoning came into existence, but most believe it traces to escaped slaves joining up with the native peoples of Jamaica, who were by necessity already experts when it came to smoking and slow-cooking meats. The slaves knew all about spices. Jerk – which comes from the Spanish word “Charqui” meaning dried meat – was born.
Kosher, gluten-free, non-GMO and extremely tasty, the FreshJax Premium recipe combines three of the more dominant spices used in Jerk Seasoning with a hint of cinnamon as the basis of its signature taste. Add it to your favorite veggies to create some excitement. Here’s an additional benefit: a FreshJax Campaign To End Childhood Hunger has so far supplied over 218,000 meals to hungry children in need. Delicious and humanitarian.
Named for a small town where farmers organized over 50 years ago to make and export jerk seasoning, this cooperative created much-needed jobs in the process. Whether it’s the inspiring story or the delectable spice, Walkerswood has staked a claim as the most authentic recipe on the market. Due to a high pepper base, it can be refrigerated for months without losing its zing. Made with scallions, hot peppers, black pepper, salt, onion, allspice, nutmeg, cane sugar, citric acid, and thyme, it should be applied sparingly (because it’s potent!) into meats, poultry, vegetables, or other dishes.
Lots of flair
Another recipe that is based heavily in pepper elements, McCormick’s entry is Kosher, does not include any MSG (an artificial flavor enhancer), and rolls thyme and allspice into the mix for its unique combination and taste. The result is a flavor that transforms your meat, poultry, fish or vegetables into a unique offering. The large 16-ounce size will keep your creations flavorful throughout many servings.
Big bottle, big taste
The Jamaicans know their jerk seasoning, and this signature mix from Jamaica oozes with authenticity. It includes Jamaican pimento, onion chips, garlic, paprika, ginger, celery, mustard, crushed pepper, salt, and sugar. We like the fact that it contains no MSG. Do like the Jamaicans and “Jack up a cob of corn with it.” and wash it down with your favorite cold beverage.
All the staples
Made by hand in the Palmetto State of South Carolina, this recipe includes a monstrous list of jerk staples. There’s onion, coriander, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, black pepper, allspice, cinnamon, thyme, nutmeg, scotch bonnet, clove, chive… If all that doesn’t transport you into an island eating attitude, we can’t help you any further. It’s salt free, MSG free, and vegan, using only natural herbs and spices, which are also a good source of essential minerals and nutrients. We think tasty and healthy is a great combination.
S. Ruxton is a contributing writer to Islands, an award-winning brand founded in 1980 that speaks to international travelers who have an affinity for the Caribbean and beyond. The website showcases destinations, resorts, cruises, and recommendations by the Islands’ staff. A former baseball writer, S. Ruxton loves to revisit the smaller Gulf towns of Clearwater, Dunedin, and Bradenton. Historic Winter Park is also a favorite destination.