Hey Guys, first off I want to tell you that I spent a year in Jamaica. It was the best thing I ever did for my life. I had the time of my life and I actually felt “more alive” in Jamaica than I did the whole time I was in Canada. I think its because in Jamaica “anything goes” and the weather just makes you enjoy life, food and music more.
My Favorite Place Was Ocho Rios
So one of my favorite places to see and visit, was Ocho Rios, Jamaica. It reminded me of Canada, but only with the Caribbean experience. Everything was clean, the streets were nice, shopping was out of this world, the people were so friendly. Many Jamaican people went there to look for work. The Fast food was amazing. In Ocho Rios I didnt miss or need, or lack anything, that I would normally have in Canada. Great Jamaican Vibes. So I want to share some of my knowledge with you. This Article will address…. where to stay and things to do in Ocho Rios Jamaica for all Budgets.From $38/night to $867/night. Hope you enjoy the list. I have linked the names to the respective websites. If there was no website I tried to link to a website with “nuff” information for you . Blessed.
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Jamaican Ackee: Our very own national fruit ackee, is not only a good source of protein, but truly delicious. It is essential to wait until the pod has opened before eating it, otherwise the results aren’t totally pleasurable. Ackee is mainly eaten with salt fish, or rice. Its yellow and looks kind of like scrambled eggs.
Jamaican Breadfruit: One of the most versatile and delicious fruits around, the exotic breadfruit actually tastes of bread. Whether you roast or boil it, you’ll enjoy a potato-like consistency, and the sweet taste of All Right. It kind of reminds me of french fries but in a bread. It is great with some salt and butter. Goes great with fried fish.
Jamaican Callaloo: A breakfast staple, callaloo is a very nutritious plant, noted as a rich source of vitamins and minerals. This leafy green vegetable is commonly served steamed and tastes similar to that of spinach, but not quite as bitter. Its high in Iron, so it is good for women after they have given birth or post menstruation to build the blood back up.
Guinep: Guineps appear as a cluster of drupes (similar to grapes), with a thin layer of green skin which, when bitten, reveals an orange hued gelatin flesh. The tart like taste is quite addictive, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself consuming the whole bunch! Be careful though, the juice from this fruit can cause stains. Guineps are loved by children.
Jamaican June Plum: A wonderful source of iron and protein, the June Plum is both juicy and sour. Sometimes a dash of salt is used to give the fruit an explosive flavor. Its great for making fresh June Plum Juice.
Jamaican Coco: A treat in soups and breads, the Jamaican coco has a creamy, comforting taste. With big spade shaped leaves, it takes close to a year to mature. But we think it’s worth it.
Otaheite Apple (Cocoplum): The refreshing, Otaheite apple is a burst of balanced sweetness. Its deep crimson red skin coats its crisp white flesh, in a pear-like shape. This fruit is noted as being a good way to hydrate and has even been used for treating diabetes and other maladies. Some People call it Ethiopian Apple
Jamaican Star Apple: This luscious fruit appears in variations of dark purple to green with a soft pulp flesh core. Jamaicans often refer to the star apple as the “mean” fruit as they never fall from their stems even after they’ve ripened. Still, the star apple offers a generous helping of sweet satisfaction, though you should try to avoid the skin as it can be rather bitter. The pulp was traditionally used with sweetened milk to make a dessert called ‘matrimony’.
Jamaican Sweetsop: Nestled inside the lumpy green outer-layer of this fruit is an aromatic and sweet custard-like pulp. The sweet sop is a very good dessert or breakfast fruit and is an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese.
Jamaican Sour Orange: Also known as bitter or Seville orange, this citrus is usually enjoyed by locals as an alternative to lemons and makes refreshing lemonade. Though many have found the fruit too unpalatable to be consumed straight from the tree, the sour orange is very useful for making marmalade and flavoring for baking, cooking and even liqueur. Its great to eat on a hot day as a refresher.
Jamaican Tangerine: The second best thing about a Jamaican tangerine is how easily they can be peeled. The first would have to be the delicious sweet flesh you’ll come to discover. The carpals (sections) come apart with ease, making the feasting of this fruit even more gratifying. Best enjoyed freshly picked, they can also be added to salads or desserts for a sweet and tarty zest.
What will the decriminalization of marijuana mean for Jamaica’s Rastafarians?
Marijuana and Loud Music Full Joy
KINGSTON, Jamaica—Attend any outdoor sound system party in Kingston and you are guaranteed to experience at least two things: loud, bass-thumping reggae and dancehall blasting from a gigantic stack of speakers, and clouds of marijuana smoke rising over the crowd. Like peanuts at a baseball game, the two go hand-in-hand, and it’s been that way for almost five decades.
Jamaica Sells Herb at its Events – We should too.
While not everyone at the party is smoking, marijuana is usually easy to come by if you’re looking. Just stop one of the vendors who will be periodically walking through the crowd with 12-inch stalks, selling buds from the dried plant for $100 Jamaican dollars ($1).
Strict Marijuana laws of past
An estimated 37,000 acres of marijuana grow across the island of Jamaica, but perhaps surprisingly to Bob Marley–worshipping foreigners, selling and using marijuana here has been against the law for the past 67 years. Until very recently, being caught with any amount of marijuana could lead to arrest and up to five years of jail time and a hefty fine up to J$15,000 (roughly $1,500). Those with marijuana convictions can also have a hard time finding work or obtaining visas to travel abroad. The strict illegality of cannabis in a country where the plant grows wild has long been a controversial sore spot between the Jamaican government, the Constabulary Force (the island’s police organization), and many of the country’s citizens—particularly Rastafarians.
But now…persons can grow marijuana on designated lands, maximum amount.
But now, Jamaica’s government, which has long had a fraught relationship with the ganja-smoking Rastas, is slowly embracing the plant’s use. A new amendment to Jamaica’s Dangerous Drugs Act, which was passed Feb. 6, Marley’s birthday, makes any possession under 2 ounces only a ticketed offense and allows any Rastafarian person to grow marijuana on designated lands. The amendment also permits the use of ganja for religious, medical, and scientific purposes. Smoking ganja is still prohibited in public places.
Rastafarians have welcomed the amendment, albeit with deep-rooted wariness.
“Give thanks for the decriminalization of herbs because we Rasta man go through a lot of struggle over it,” says Ras Ayatollah, sitting in the garden of the well-hidden restaurant of Ibo Spice on Orange Street in downtown Kingston that serves up a strictly vegetarian menu that Rastas called “ital.”
A Rastafarian elder at the Scotts Pass Nyabinghi Center in Clarendon, about a 40-minute drive outside of Kingston, Ayatollah grew up a fisherman in the Kingston shanty community of Hannah Town. According to Ayatollah, he got his name after hearing a radio report that the Iranian Ayatollah had declared he would stop “wickedness and earthquakes.”
How Marijuana came to Jamaica
Marijuana first arrived in Jamaica with indentured workers from India (who called the plant “ganja,” the Bengali word for hemp and a term still widely used across the island) in the 19th century. The use of cannabis grew in popularity along with the rise of the radical, Afro-centric spiritual movement Rastafarianism in the 1930s. The movement, which originates in Jamaica, has roots in Abrahamic religious tradition but identifies former Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie as a Jesus-like figure who represented God on Earth.
Herb and King Solomon
Followers of Rastafari see Zion (often identified as Ethiopia) as a promised land they’ve been forcefully taken away from by Babylon—which encompasses what they see as a wide-breadth of corrupt Anglo-Western values such materialism and greed. Cannabis, which Rastafarians often they refer to as “herb,” is a holy plant to believers, according to their interpretation of certain passages in the Old Testament. Many Rastas believe the plant grew on the grave of King Solomon.
When Rastaman smoke herb….causes unwanted attention
The hardline approach that the Jamaican government has taken toward ganja use and cultivation has naturally resulted in a long and strained relationship with Rastafarians. But the complexities run deeper than just ganja use. Like many elder Rastafarians, Ayatollah has endured decades of stigmatization by many Jamaicans and, in particular, the local police. Over the years, this has often played out in violence and aggravation.
One often-cited clash is the Coral Gardens incident, which took place in 1963. A number of Rastafarians took to the local police station near Montego Bay to protest police harassment over their presence near resort hotels. The situation turned violent, and eight Rastafarians were killed. The incident is still remembered each year on its anniversary by Rastafarians, who refer to it as “Bad Friday.”
Clinton Hutton, lecturer at University of the West Indies
Another famous incident in post-independence Jamaica revolves around the destruction of a downtown Rastafarian community that was called Back O’Wall in 1965. The area was a center for pan-Africanism and early Rastafarians; Marley lived here when he was young. After being branded by politicians as a slum and a center for violence, it was leveled by bulldozers and rifle-armed police officers. The area was replaced by low-income housing and renamed Tivoli Gardens, but it remained a hotspot for violence, epitomized by the government’s armed capture of Tivoli Gardens’ famed drug lord Christopher Coke in 2010, which resulted in more than 50 deaths, many of whom were unarmed residents.
“The real issue that many of us in the Rastafari community have is if we are going to have a stake in the commercial industry,” Barnett says. “The commercial motivation by the government is quit obvious. But what regard is being paid to Rastafari? Shouldn’t Rastafari be a part of any economic benefits that are to be incurred in this initiative?”
“Marley Natural” Marijuana?
To be sure, there is money to be made from legal ganja. The new law opens the door for the creation of licenses for allowing the development of a medicinal and commercial ganja industry—something toward which the powerful and business-savvy Marley estate has already taken steps, creating its own strain of the plant called “Marley Natural” this past November.
Tourists the real beneficiaries of new Gangja Laws
The new law can only benefit tourism, Jamaica’s biggest revenue-generator. More than 2 million people visited Jamaica last year, many in search of sun, music, and marijuana in resort towns such as Negril. It’s also here where rogue “ganja tours” are already attractions that authorities have largely turned a blind eye to, despite their illegality, possibly in fear of scaring away visitors.
“The investment opportunities from legalizing ganja are huge,” argued Delano Seiveright, director of the lobby group Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Taskforce, at last year’s Investments and Capital Markets Conference in Jamaica. “The more obvious relate to the impact on our agriculture, tourism, and financial sectors.”
Upon passing the reform, Justice Minister Mark Golding echoed these sentiments, saying, “We need to position ourselves to take advantage of the significant economic opportunities offered by this emerging industry.”
Barnett doesn’t see why Rastafarians can’t also take advantage of these benefits.
Rasta have always promoted herb….
“Rastafari should be able to make a living out of something they’ve long promoted and championed,” explains Barnett. “What may happen, and I hope it doesn’t, is that Rastafari will have no real part, or real input, in the commercial aspect of the herb industry.”
Barnett’s colleague Clinton Hutton, a lecturer in political philosophy and culture at University of the West Indies, has similar concerns. Speaking in his office surrounded by portraits he’s taken over the years of Jamaica’s Rastafarians, Clinton is pragmatic.
“I don’t think that we Rastas can say, ‘We have done all of these things, and therefore there’s automatic right.’ For me, they should have that right. But some rest of society and especially certain people in business, they will box that idea right out of our mouths, as we say in Jamaica,” he said.
Groups such as the Ganja Law Reform Coalition, the Ganja Future Growers and Producers Association, and the Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Taskforce have been the driving forces over the past few years in pushing for ganja reform on the island. However, none of these groups has seriously taken up the issue of financial reparations or inclusion for Rastafarians. The various branches of the Rastafarian communities have also been slow to act. Having historically avoided political involvement, no significant political or social group has developed from the various branches of their community.
But how the new law will financially benefit Rastafarians is not the only concern.
Government to decide who is Rasta?????
While the new law does recognize Rastafarians use of the plant in holy ceremonies and makes steps to allow these practices to go unprosecuted, this brings up another question that has existential consequences to Barnett: “There is something problematic in allowing the government to now determine who is Rasta,” he said. “It’s a whole can of worms in itself.”
How exactly this will play out legally is still to be seen. The Jamaican government has determined that the Cannabis Licensing Authority will be the regulatory body helping establish the lawful industry. However, National Security Minister Peter Bunting has acknowledged in a speech to Parliament this past February that the new law would take some time to implement.
Maybe everybody will be Rasta now….
Hutton calls the government making decisions on who is Rastafarian foolish. “Maybe everyone will become Rasta now,” he says with a laugh.
Yet, it’s these kinds of unanswered issues that Hutton believes make it all the more imperative for Rastafarians to be active and vocal about the implementation of the law.
Equal Rights and Justice for All….
“This is an issue that Rastas have died for,” Hutton explains with a sudden seriousness. “This is an issue many have gone to prison for, that they have been victimized for, that they have been shut out of school and jobs for. Everything should be done to understand that. This issue is one of rights and justice. Not just in Jamaica but globally.”
I don’t eat meat. But, I still remember the flavors of some of the food dishes my Grandmother and Mother would cook for me. Before I became a Rastafari I would visit some of the Jamaican food Restaurants, so I am pretty confident I know my stuff. Plus, Jamaican food is so vast, you can be vegetarian and still enjoy flavorful Jamaican food without the meat.
Jamaican Curry Goat – This Jamaican food dish is so popular and so good. Mostly men request it at Jamaican food restaurants. Before I became vegan, this was my favorite Jamaican food dish.
Jamaican Jerk Chicken – Jamaican Jerk Chick is probably one of our top 2 dishes we are world Renowned for. Its spice, hot, and tastes really good. You can buy the Jerk Sauce at the supermarket and cook it at home. I did this once, I put way too much Jerk Sauce.
Jamaican Jerk Pork – I think this food dish is a favorite ofmany people (non Rastafari) Before I became a Rastafari I loved to eat me some Jerk Pork. Try it if you get a chance. Tasty. I am remembering form over 10 years ago.
Ackee and Salt Fish – This is known as Jamaica’s “International” dish. Ackee and Saltfish is eaten, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Jamaican Run Down – Jamaican Run down. Jamaican run down is so commonly cooked in Jamaican culture that its often overlooked. Jamaican run down is a breakfast that is made with salt fish tomato, black pepper, oil, scallion. It tastes salty and we cook it with some plain dumplings on the side. Makes a great breakfast, or snack. Sometimes we eat it for dinner too.
Jamaican Oxtail – Ok I have a confession. Out of all the flavors of each individual Jamaican food, Jamican oxtail has the best flavors. Don’t ask me what they cook it with I do not know off the top of my head….but you should cook this at home. You will be blown away by the way it tastes. Trust me.
Jamaican Fried Fish – Jamaican fried fish. Just thinking about makes me want to go back to Jamaica. Jamaican fried fish is a food you eat when you want some healthy comfort food if that makes sense. Jamaicans will often request fried fish is they are tired of eating Chicken or if they are vegetarian but still don’t mind eating fish. (like me)
Jamaican stew Chicken – This is still my favorite Jamaican food dish. I am not crazy about eating Chicken anymore. I seek it out about once a month. The taste of Jamaican stew Chicken is one your palette will never forget.
Chicken Foot Soup – Chicken foot Soup. Chicken foot soup tastes great when you are in the mood for it. Sometimes if you are not feeling well, or feel like you wan to eat something full of nutrients Jamaican foot soup might be the answer. Jamaican people cook it so good and it doesnt cost a lot of money to make.
Jamaican Curry Chicken – Jamaican curry chicken is delicious so many people admire Jamaica for this dish. Jamaican Curry chicken is another meal that some people think every Jamaican eats. Well I take that as a compliment.