The historical origins of jerk-style cooking can be traced back to the Cormantee hunters of West Africa called the Maroons. During the British invasion of 1655, many of the Maroons were captured, enslaved and brought to Jamaica to work on the Sugar plantations. Some of these slaves escaped from their captors and spent years hiding out in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, where they practiced the cooking methods of their forefathers. Our Jerk pastes are inspired by the Maroons.
We scoured the continent for the most exotic and exciting ingredients –the ones that tease the senses and tantalize the taste buds. Africa benefited from the spice trade during the era of colonization, incorporating the vast array of new spices into its recipes to add depth, dimension, intensity, flavor and heat.
Much like our ancestors, we make our Jerk pastes in small batches with many exotic spices to capture the essence and complexity of true African-style Jerk.
We start with a base of sweet and tart tamarind puree, soy sauce and two types of mustard to create depth and dimension. Highly fragrant spices such as cardamom, cloves, Vietnamese cinnamon and star anise are artfully added for intense aroma and flavor. Cumin and paprika bring smoky complexity. We then introduce pungent elements like fresh cilantro, ginger and garlic. Habanero peppers add fruity floral notes and fiery heat. Finally, a few other secret ingredients round out and balance flavors.
Use our African jerk pastes on meat, poultry, seafood or tofu. Then grill, barbecue, bake or roast. Add to ground meat for burgers or to kebabs. You are only limited by your imagination.