Welcome Reception and Caribbean Cultural Dinner
WELCOME RECEPTION – Sunday, December 1, Immediately Following the Opening Ceremony
Immediately following the Conference Opening Ceremony, step outside for sunset views, casual conversation, light appetizers and refreshments. Enjoy the sunset view of the ocean from the garden terrace as we toast the opening of the Caribbean Conference.
CULTURAL DINNER – Tuesday, December 4, 7:00pm – 11:00pm
Take time to unwind and enjoy an unforgettable Caribbean Cultural Dinner. Enjoy traditional Jamaican entertainment, cuisine and unlimited beverages as you learn more about Caribbean culture all set under the stars on the beautiful beach of the Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay.
Jamaican cuisine includes a mixture of cooking techniques, flavours, spices and influences from the indigenous people on the island of Jamaica, and the Spanish, Irish, British, Africans, Indian and Chinese who have inhabited the island. It is also influenced by the crops introduced into the island from tropical Southeast Asia. Jamaican cuisine includes various dishes from the different cultures brought to the island with the arrival of people from elsewhere. Other dishes are novel or a fusion of techniques and traditions. In addition to ingredients that are native to Jamaica, many foods have been introduced and are now grown locally. A wide variety of seafood, tropical fruits and meats are available.
Some Jamaican cuisine dishes are variations on the cuisines and cooking styles brought to the island from elsewhere. These are often modified to incorporate local produce. Others are novel and have developed locally. Popular Jamaican dishes include curry goat, fried dumplings, ackee and saltfish (cod) – the national dish of Jamaica – fried plantain, “jerk“, steamed cabbage and “rice and peas” (pigeon peas or kidney beans). Jamaican cuisine has been adapted by Irish, African, Indian, British, French, Spanish, Chinese influences. Jamaican patties and various pastries and breads are also popular as well as fruit beverages and Jamaican rum.
DINING IN JAMAICA
One of the richest parts of Jamaica’s heritage is the food that we eat. This stems from our cultural diversity and so you have a blending of different ethnic culinary styles resulting in a diverse and ever evolving Jamaican cuisine.
The Jamaican motto of “out of many, one people” speaks to the varied cultural groupings who have made Jamaica home. This includes the original inhabitants of the island, a group of people known as the Tainos, as well as the Spanish settlers, the British colonial masters and the African slaves, whose descendants make up the bulk of our population. There have been other significant groupings who came to Jamaica in the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s, including people of East Indians, Chinese, German and Middle Eastern descent.
Jamaician Ackee & Saltfish
The ackee is a fruit Ackee is a fruit, somewhat related to the lychee family, but for the most part it’s often referred to as a vegetable; creamy, buttery and really delicate in texture. The ackee is native to West Africa which grows extensively around the island and when cooked has a look and consistency almost like scrambled eggs, but with a unique flavor. Salt fish refers to salted cod, which in the old days was the cheapest form of protein available to feed the masses. The cod is boiled and then flaked and sautéed with onions, scallion, thyme, tomatoes as well as hot and sweet peppers. The ackee is mixed in at the end to create a truly memorable dish.
Jerk Pork is perhaps Jamiaca’s best known contribution to the culinary world. This method of cooking was developed many years ago as a slow smoking process of highly seasoned meat as a way of preserving the meat for the long ocean voyages. Although Jerk originated in Boston Bay Portland, it can now be found throughout the island. Note that the Taino people native to Jamaica and the Caribbean are credited with coming up with the term barbecue, which is derived from the Taino word barabicau.
Over the years “jerking” has evolved into a speedier but still slow grilling process with its signature highly seasoned marinate. This marinate is comprised mainly of onions, scallions, hot peppers, salt, pimento (allspice) and a number of other local spices. In days of old it was mostly pork which was jerked however to day chicken has surpassed it in popularity and you can get almost anything jerked from seafood to rabbit. An off shoot of Jerk is the popular street side PAN CHICKEN.Anywhere you see the signature 55 gallon oil drum cut in two to make a charcoal grill you will find the ever popular pan chicken where every vendor has his own special recipe.
Every country has its own version of a baked pastry with meat filling. The patty is very similar to the Latin American empanada, however the pastry is flakier and the filling more highly seasoned. Originally made with ground beef, they are now available in chicken, shrimp, lobster and a variety of vegetarian options. One of the most popular meals for the “man in the street.” Patties are frequently eaten with cocoa bread.
Hailing from Jamiacian Spanish ancestry, this popular seaside dish is made of crispy fried whole fish with a savory topping of sautéed onions, carrots, hot and sweet peppers pickled in vinegar as a topping. Best eaten with FESTIVAL (a fried pastry made from flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, salt and baking powder) or BAMMY, one of oldest indigenous food being a bread like patty made from ground cassava which is fried or steamed.
Hailing from our East Indian heritage, this is a staple at any late night party, whether it be a dance, wedding or funeral. Traditionally highly spiced and eaten with steamed white rice and boiled green bananas. Usually accompanied by mannish water, which is a spicy soup made from all the other parts of the goat that didn’t make it into the main curry pot. Note that other very popular curried dishes include, chicken, shrimp, lobster and conch.
Rice and Peas
No Jamaican meal is complete without this ever present accompaniment. Red kidney beans are boiled with a variety of local seasonings and then rice and coconut milk is added to make the perfect side dish to almost any meal. A variation of this is STEW PEAS & RICE in which the kidney beans are stewed until tender and a thick gravy is formed and then served over steamed white rice. Similar seasoning as used for the beans such as onions, scallion, thyme, scotch bonnet peppers, coconut milk and salt. This may be made vegetarian style or may include salted beef or salted pig tail.
Soups of various kinds are frequently considered as a meal in Jamaica as opposed to a starter. Soups are usually sold as a cup, small bowl or large bowl. Cups are starters, bowls are small or large meals. They are usually thick hearty soups with a number of ground provisions and other inclusions. This includes dumplings, yam of various types, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, coco, dasheen, cho cho, carrots and green bananas, to name a few. Popular seafood soups include fish tea and conch. Shrimp soup usually refers to fresh water shrimp commonly called JANGA.
Soups are frequently Pumpkin based or bean based and will usually contain some type of meat unless specifically stated as being vegetarian. Popular pumpkin soups include beef or chicken soup (frequently referred to as cock soup, especially when local male free range chicken is used).
The most popular bean soups are red peas (red kidney beans) and gungo peas (pidgeon peas). These will usually include one of the following meats: pickled pig tail, salted beef or chicken. However, they may also be made vegetarian style.