An award-winning food writer in the UK, Melissa Thompson celebrates the food culture and history of the Caribbean island from which her father came.
While other cookbooks have taken for granted that a reader knows the island, Thompson is careful to introduce us to Jamaica, including a map as well as many sections which address what is known about the Taino people who lived there before the arrival of Europeans, the impact of colonization and slavery, and the movements toward independence.
These sections help inform the many different recipes she offers, from those which rely on native seafood to others imported by various ethnic groups, not least among them West Africans. There are also a few personal contributions of her own.
Among the dishes that caught our eye:
- Hard dough bread
- Ginger beer shrimp
- Saltfish, butter bean, and red pepper stew
- Mutton hotpot
- Grapefruit cassava cake
- Tamarind and bay caramel brownies
Thompson's thoughtful, confident voice runs through the book, happily urging readers to share in her own adventure in getting to know Jamaica's cuisine.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.