I can hear it already. What does stir-frying have to do with Jamaican cooking? Why, I’m glad you asked. Plenty, as it turns out. Jamaicans LOVE Asian cuisine. There’s one for generalizations, for you, but I think my Jamaican friends will forgive me. Here’s why.
There are a lot of Jamaicans of Asian descent, so Asian food – Indian and Chinese in particular – is very common in Jamaica. Jamaica has a history similar to America. It was “discovered” by Christoper Columbus although there were native Arawak-Indians already living there. Fastforward through Spanish rule, then English rule to the slave trade. There were Africans brought over to Jamaica who were then enslaved and made to work on plantations. In America, cotton plantations were prevalent, while in Jamaica the mainstay was sugar canes. After the abolition of slavery, workers were needed to maintain plantation operations. This started an influx of indentured servants from India and China. Indentured servitude was a labor system whereby young people paid for their passage to the New World by working for an employer for a certain number of years. Of course, when those years were up, everyone stayed. It’s beautiful Jamaica, after all. Now we have a beautiful family of people who call themselves Jamaicans. In fact, our motto is “Out of many, one people.”
I love stir-frying. It makes quick work of any meal and it is one of the most versatile cooking methods. Really, the range of ingredients that are suitable for stir-frying is endless; the combinations are limited only by your imagination.
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