The Cayman Islands, stingray paradise

The Cayman Islands are a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean Sea not far from the island of Jamaica. The group includes Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac. Its capital is George Town.

The island is famous for its coral reefs and is a major tourist destination. It is also a great spot for unusual flora and fauna. Stingrays and turtles are an important part of the culture. Turtles are eaten while it’s possible to swim with the rays in a part of the island known as Stingray City.

Places of interest in the Cayman Islands include the Cayman Islands National Museum in George Town, Heroes Square, Rum Point, Seven Mile Beach –which as the name suggests is a seven mile stretch of white sand beaches where several hotels and resorts are located , Pedro St. James Castle, and East End Light, Hell, and the Turtle Museum.

Music is also important to the culture and in Cayman there are several festivals including the Cayman Jazzfest, Seafarers Festival, Cayman Islands International Storytelling Festival and Cayfest.

Turtle is also a big part of the Cayman cuisine and its meat is served in restaurants.


Where does the “jerk” come from?

For lovers of spicy food there is nothing like the taste of Jamaican jerk to whet the appetite and get the taste buds going. Jerk is as synonymous with Jamaica as reggae music.

The jerk method is said to have originated in Africa. The sauce is a special marinade made from local spices such as cinnamon, pimento, cloves, scallions, garlic, thyme, salt, nutmeg, and hot peppers known as “Scotch Bonnet” or “country” peppers in Jamaica. The sauce is then rubbed over the meat which is left to marinade in the sauce. The food can be cooked over a grill, barbecue, or in the oven.

Jerk is the most popular dish in Jamaica and just about anything can be jerked. Meats that are jerked include chicken, pork, beef, sausages, fish, lobster, squid, shrimp, conch, rabbit, and mutton while staples that have been jerked include breadfruit.

Jerk food can be eaten by itself or with rice, dumplings, or festival or by itself with a fork or with the hands.

The most famous place for jerked dishes in Jamaica is Boston in Portland. There are several other famous eating spots all over the island. Jerk food has gained popularity outside of the Jamaica and there are jerk festivals in various parts of the world.

Two jerk food festivals are held in Portland at Port Antonio and Boston annually while a jerk food festival is also staged in New York.