This Jamaican way of cooking has invaded restaurants and cafés worldwide, adding a hint of spice to cocktail parties and backyard cookouts alike. Just about any meat can be “jerked”, but the real secret to the flavourful taste is the marinade, a truly Jamaican blend of spices and seasonings. Of course, a homemade jerk marinade is best, but today there are several commendable brands of jerk seasoning that do just fine. Try your own bit of “jerk” at home. Here are simplified recipes for you to enjoy a taste of Jamaica.

Basic Jerk Marinade
1 dash of mace, 
1 pinch of salt
, 1 pinch of black pepper, 
2 tsps. ground Jamaican pimento
, 4 oz. escallion (green onions), 
2 medium onions
, 2 hot Scotch Bonnet peppers, 
2 tbsp vegetable oil

 Finely chop onions, peppers, and escallion. 
Blend all ingredients (preferably in a blender or food processor).
 Rub mixture on meat (pork, fish or beef can be used) and let marinate overnight (or at least for two hours).
 Grill meat slowly over hot coals until cooked.

Oven Jerk Chicken
6 lbs Chicken cut into serving pieces, 
4 ounces escallion finely chopped
, 1 large onion finely chopped, 
12 pimento (allspice) seeds crushed
, 6 large cloves of garlic crushed and finely chopped
, 1 small Scotch Bonnet (or Jalapeno) pepper, 
2 tsp brown sugar
, ½ tsp fresh ginger finely chopped, 
2 ounces of fresh thyme or ½ tsp dried thyme
, ½ Tsp. Black pepper (or white pepper if desired)
, 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

 Clean and dry chicken.
 Mix all spices and other ingredients together.
 Coat chicken with spice mix.
 Cover and leave to marinate for at least one hour.
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
 Place marinated chicken in shallow baking dish.
 Bake 45 minutes or until cooked through (180°F). Makes: 12 servings