Curry in Jamaican Culture
Curry has been in the Jamaican culture since the 1800’s. While curry came from the Far East, curry in Jamaican Culture was traced back to the days of indentured servants. Jamaicans used curry to prepare some of their most famous dishes and some dishes that are not so famous. However, what’s unique about the Jamaican curry powder is that in addition to the known ingredients, it also contains allspice (pimento) seasoning and the color is a brighter yellow. So what do we know about Curry in Jamaican Culture and many other culture is it life changing.
Some Jamaicans use curry in just about everything they cook. Even though curried goat and curried chicken are more famously known, curry is used for cooking all types of meat and fish/shellfish dishes. Curry powder is also use to prepare many vegetarian dishes. Rastafarians in Jamaica and around the world use curry in their Ital cooking (no salt) to create many variety Ital dishes.
Many people think Jamaican dishes are automatically spicy but that’s not the case, not all Jamaicans love spicy food yet they still must eat. Therefore, all Jamaican food cannot be spicy expecially to feed our medically challenge persons. As for curry powder, curry can be made spicy which includes the scotch bonnet pepper or without the pepper. The great thing about curry is that studies have shown that curry is linked to many health benefits especially when it comes to the turmeric which is one of the ingredients in curry. Turmeric appears to have a positive effect on controlling your blood sugar and cholesterol while curry powder on a regular basis maybe able to provide cancer-preventive benefits, according to a study published in the October 2012 issue of the “Korean Journal of Urology.” Also, “Indians eat from 100 to 200 milligrams of curry every day, and that might be enough to prevent cancer,” says Aggarwal of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas.
An article written in January 2007 in USA Today which was titled, “Tasty Curry might have a fringe benefits” went on to say …”A study in the November issue of Arthritis and Rheumatism suggests turmeric, one component of curry spice, almost completely prevented joint swelling… Other studies have suggested that the spice could protect against diseases such as heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s, a degenerative brain disease that afflicts nearly 5 million people in the USA.” The article goes on to say, …Rates of Alzheimer’s in India are about four times lower than in the USA, says Gregory Cole, a researcher at the University of California-Los Angeles.”
Further studies explained, “The findings from Western science fit with what traditional Indian healers have long said about turmeric.”They call it the spice of life,” says P. Murali Doraiswamy, an Alzheimer’s expert at Duke University in Durham, N.C.” It was great to know that health conscious First Lady Mrs. Michelle Obama included green curry prawns at her first state dinner.
The folks at “Ocho Rios Jerk Restaurant” in Jensen Beach Florida says, “Our customers expect great authentic Jamaican food each time they patronize Ocho Rios Jerk Restaurant. And our very popular curry dishes which are prepared using our own “Ocho Rios Jerk” Curry Powder imported from Ocho Rios Jamaica allow us to maintain our high standards.” They went on to say “Many customers buy their curry powder to from us to capture that same taste.” Therefore, Curry in Jamaican Culture plays a major role in the daily diet and curry in general may have many health benefits. So, if cooking with curry powder on a regular basis maybe able to provide cancer-preventive benefits and other health benefits, what are we waiting for? Just remember, when cooking with curry, it does not have to dominate the taste and the color of your food, curry can be use as you do with other seasonings, just sprinkle some in the pot.