Allspice, garlic granules, brown sugar, chipotle powder, clove powder, thyme, black pepper, cayenne, salt, cinnamon.
Seasonings that are called “hot” typically focus on flavor first and heat second and our Jamaican Jerk Seasoning is no exception. With three different types of pepper – chipotle, black, and cayenne – this blend can certainly make your tongue burn and your eyes water! With the combination of allspice and cinnamon, it also provides a sweet exhilarating dash to any dish, so our Jamaican Jerk Seasoning always packs a flavorful punch!
Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meat is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a very hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice. Jerk seasoning is traditionally applied to pork and chicken. Modern recipes also apply jerk spice mixes to fish, shrimp, shellfish, beef, sausage, lamb, and tofu.
One theory is that Jamaican jerk sauce is actually African since the origins of jerk pork can be traced back to the pre-slavery days of the Coromantee hunters of West Africa. When the British invaded Jamaica in 1655 the Spanish colonists fled, leaving behind a large number of African slaves. Rather than be re-enslaved by the British, they escaped into Jamaica's mountainous regions where they mixed in with the local Taínos.
Though Jamaican jerk sauce certainly was derived from African ancestry it is something that was adapted and modified over hundreds of years as various cultures added their influence. From the start, changes had to be made since the Coromantee slaves found themselves in new surroundings on the island of Jamaica and were forced to use what was available to them.
As a result, there was naturally a departure from some of the original spices used in jerk and new ingredients were added or substituted as necessary. One new addition to the recipe was the Scotch bonnet pepper, which is largely responsible for the heat found in Caribbean jerks.