Kingston food, the term used to refer to the culinary preparations of the Jamaican capital city,Kingston, has influences from the British, Spanish, Chinese, Indians and Africans, all of whom have inhabited the island since long. As such the cuisine uses a combination of cooking techniques, spices and flavors from various cuisines. The crops were also influenced by the mass cultivation of its Asian settlers. Many dishes were introduced to it by its cosmopolitan population whilst others took on a fusion style. A wide range of tropical fruits, seafood and meat ate available in Kingston. The cuisine of Kingston has propagated and spread internationally due to emigrations, especially during the last 3 decades.
Popular Kingston dishes include fried dumplings, curry goat, salt fish and ackee(national food of all of Jamaica), "jerk", fried plantain, steamed cabbage and "rice and peas" (kidney beans or pigeon peas). Kingston patties and a range of breads and pastries are popular as are Kingston rum and fruit beverages.
Kingston Cuisine - Popular Main Course Dishes
- Ackel and saltfish: It is a traditional Kingston dish, internationally known as Jamaica's national dish.
- Jerk chicken : Jerk is a cooking technique that is unique to Kingston. In this process meat is marinated with a hot and spicy mixture called jerk spice. Most of the traditional meat based Kingston food employ Jerk seasoning.
- Curry goat : Originally from the Indo-Jamaican cuisine, this dish is now very popular in Kingston. It is now found throughout the Caribbean. The meat is flavored with scotch bonnet pepper and a range of Indo-Jamaican spices.
- Jamaican patties : It is a pastry encompassing various spices and fillings inside a flaky shell, usually colored golden yellow using a mixture of turmeric and egg yolk.. As its name suggests, it is commonly found not just in Kingston but all of Jamaica, and is also consumed all over the Caribbean, The traditional recipe features seasoned minced beef, but fillings may also include vegetables, chicken, lobster, shrimp, soy, fish or cheese
- Oxtail : Oxtail made using the tail of cattle. An oxtail generally weighs about 3 lbs. It is skinned and sliced to shorter lengths. Oxtail is gelatinous meat that is also boney, and is cooked on low heat and often sautéed. It makes for a wonderful base for soups.
Kingston Cuisine – Popular Desserts
- Soursop ice cream and mango ice cream are two popular desserts. Kingston ice cream is generally made with the milk of coconut and popular flavors include rum, raisin and grape-nut.
- Duckunoo is a dish prepared by mixing cornmeal with coconut milk and then wrapping the combination in a banana leaf prior to boiling.
- Asham - parched corn mixed with brown sugar.
Other popular desserts include gizzada (tart shell containing spiced sweet coconut filling), potato pudding, toto (dessert) (coconut cake), grater cake and banana fritters. The desserts are an essential component of Kingston food and usually complete a good meal.