Wed | Nov 29, 2023

'Breadfruit roasting on an open fire ...'

Published:Sunday | December 16, 2012 | 12:00 AM

The reggae Christmas carol is a holiday favourite, not just because of the humour, but because the song highlights Jamaicans' favourite part of Christmas ... FOOD!

There are many Jamaican specialties that are featured during Christmas time, like rum-laced fruit cake, Christmas pudding, sorrel and chocolate tea on Christmas mawning. Even among imports like honey-glazed ham and stuffed turkey, the colours of the island's indigenous dishes shine through.

For those Jamaicans who want to include that special island spice to their Christmas table, The Gleaner Company has produced a Christmas Cookbook for 2012, with several recipes that will amaze and delight even those most discerning Christmas dinner guests.

However, if this publication somehow manages to elude you, its pages will be saved for posterity on The Gleaner's latest website,

But if traditional Jamaican cuisine is what you crave, the website also boasts a colourful slide show of Jamaican foods, with links to recipes that you can try.

Each photograph is accompanied by interesting trivia that makes for great conversation starters. Did you know that the word rum comes from the English word 'rumbullion' which means 'great tumult'? Did you know that 'escoveitch' came from the Spanish settlers and the Spanish word 'escabeche', which is a seared and pickled fish dish? Or that breadfruit is called 'breshay' in certain parts of Jamaica?

So make the effort to impress your loved ones who come to your fireside this Christmas with new culinary innovations both in The Gleaner and on for your viewing pleasure.