Piping hot properties! The best places for Jamaica’s reggae and roadside jerk pork revealed
- The Boston Jerk Center is one of the most well-known spots for jerk pork
- Recipes are closely guarded and vague but the end result is always delicious
- Jerk pork has been sold in Jamaica for more than 70 years
Wherever you find Jamaicans, you will find jerk pork. All agree, though, the best is to be found by the roadside, near the beach at Boston in Portland Parish. It dates back to runaway slaves who hunted wild pig and smoked their meat to preserve it.
You can smell the meat and exotic spices a mile away. As you get nearer, the sound systems crash in with the latest reggae tunes. The Boston Jerk Center has eight pits filled with coals and covered with zinc sheets. The pork is cooked on pimento sticks for flavour, and the process takes several hours.
The crucial ingredient is the jerk sauce. The recipe is a closely guarded secret, but will include ginger, scallion, thyme, vinegar, garlic and scotch bonnet pepper.
Island’s finest: Portland Parish in eastern Jamaica is where the best Jerk Pork can be found
Jerk pork has been sold here for more than 70 years, and many involved are second and third-generation jerkmen. Their stalls’ names are often as exotic as the food: Goldteeth, Bumpy, Shaggy, Glasses and Gurley. The most famous at the moment is Mickey Jr, fronted by Teddy Duncan – the only jerkman to have been on the staff of a Jamaican prime minister, P.J. Patterson.
Jerk pork is best eaten with breadfruit, roast yam, plantain, sweet potato, rice and peas, and dumpling -and accompanied by Red Stripe beer, coconut water or rum.
But it is not just the food that makes Boston Bay so special. Fishing boats bob on the shoreline, the surfing is among the best in Jamaica and the crowds that gather are mainly Jamaican with a sprinkling of tourists. All would agree that jerk pork at Boston is irie -patois for a really good time.
An institution: Jerk pork is a tradition that goes back three generations