How can you really top this - delicious Jamaican jerk and fun family-oriented entertainment - all in one place?? Come savor Jamaica's most famous style of cooking this Sunday, July 3rd, at the 12th Portland Jerk Festival in Port Antonio, Jamaica! This Festival is always a favorite and this year's should be no exception.
As usual, the Festival expects a bumper crop of locals from all over the island as well as tourists to make the annual trip to Portland to enjoy the creations of Jamaica's popular chefs. The event always features more than 25 authentic jerk vendors from Portland, the "Home of Jerk", and other areas. Expect to sample jerked pork, chicken, lobster, shrimp, goat, sausage, beef and conch, and other jerked meats at reasonable prices, along with the traditional side dishes of rice and peas, festival, breadfruit and yam. There are also vegetarian dishes available. I am hungry already! :yes:
- Where: Folly Estates (Folly Ruins), Port Antonio, Jamaica
- When: Sunday, July 3, 2011; Opens at 10AM & runs until midnight
- Cultural: Community dance groups perform traditional dances like Kumina, Brukins, Jonkunnu, & drummers play throughout the day; arts & craft displays
- Music: High quality musicians, including gospel music from 11am-1pm, the "Vintage Show" featuring Ernie Smith, Nikky Delon, Pat Kelly and Errol Dunkley from 3pm-5pm, Byron Lee's Dragonaires at 6pm and
popular reggae & dancehall artists from 7pm expected to include Beenie Man, Konshens, Sizzla, Etana, Versatile and Terry Linen. There will be something for everyone!
- Kiddies' Village: Rides, games, bounce-abouts, merry-go-round and face painting, all at minimal cost
- Competitions: (1) The Best Jerk - judged in the morning and throughout the day as the vendors will be checked to ensure that the quality is maintained; (2) the most organized or visually-pleasing booth
- Admission: $1,000 (about US$12.50) before 6PM | $1,500 after 6PM (about US$19.00) | Children under 12 pay $300 (US$3.75). NO igloos allowed.
- Parking/shuttles: Easy access with "nuff nuff" parking.
The Portland Jerk Festival is a celebration of two features unique to the Jamaican culture - reggae and jerk, and this is a fun way to showcase both. You can enjoy the peaceful laid-back atmosphere and lovely surroundings of Port Antonio while you're there!
The Origins of Jerk
The technique of “jerking” is thought to have originated with the Maroons, descendants of slaves who were freed from their Spanish masters and lived in the island’s most remote mountain areas. Meat is first marinated for hours in an spicy but flavorful mixture of peppers, pimento seeds, scallion, thyme and then cooked over an outdoor pit lined with pimento wood. (The Maroons did the cooking underground to camouflage the smoke.) The low heat allows the meat to cook slowly, retaining the natural juices while becoming infused with the flavor of the wood and the different spices.