Looking for something to do with the family on Easter Sunday, March 31st? Head over to Portland for the Tropicana Tropics Boston Jerk Fest!
Some years back, the organizers of the annual Portland Jerk Festival moved the event to Folly Oval near Port Antonio to accommodate more visitors. That event now takes place in late June or early July.
The Boston Jerk Festival, however, is being held again at the authentic birthplace of jerk - in Boston Bay. You'll find authentic jerkmen here serving up a variety of jerked meats, including pork, chicken, goat, fish, conch, lobster, shrimp and vegetables, along with lots of family entertainment all day.
Boston Jerk Festival has received a major boost in sponsorship, with the addition of Pepsi as its title sponsor, for this year's staging of the event. The festival has the potential to become the biggest culinary event in the country. "We are very pleased with this association as Boston is not only the official home of jerk but the brand itself; it's that unique authentic jerk flavour which has become a worldwide phenomenon," Wayne Loban, Pepsi's territory sales manager, said last Friday.
- Date: Sunday, March 31, 2013
- Location: Boston Community Centre, Boston Bay, Portland
- Time: Gates open at 10:00 am; Starting time is 11:00 am
- Entertainment: Featured performers will include I-Octane, Chuck Fenda, Turbulence, Teflon, Jimmy Riley, Tinga Stewart, and Little Hero
- Attractions for kids: Bounce-a-bout, rock climbing, face painting, clowns and rides
"It is such a natural draw that we are expecting to have a huge influx of visitors over the Easter weekend," Mayor of Port Antonio Benny White said, adding that "our chefs will be preparing some of the finest and some of the most unusual jerk dishes seen anywhere in the world: rabbit, lionfish, reindeer, wildhog (Maroon style), goat, beef, conch, and of course, our one-of-a kind, pork and chicken."
"Jerk" is world-renowned, but many people think it's simply a mixture of spices sprinkled on meat. The spices are important, but the preparation and cooking methods are what really give jerk its name. Traditionally, a fire is made in a pit in the ground and long, thin strips of aromatic pimento (allspice) wood are placed over the fire to form a "grill". Slabs of highly seasoned meat is layered onto the grill, then covered with another layer of wood (or "zinc") and left to cook slowly. This method creates the real jerk taste.
Every Jamaican jerkman (and there are plenty of good ones right here in Boston) has a secret recipe, and these annual festivals are the perfect venue to compete and show off one's talents. When you're passing through Boston and catch a whiff of the swirls of smoke drifting through the air, your growling stomach won't let you continue without stopping for a bite. Try not to overeat... yeah, right!