Caribbean Plate: Jerk Paradise in Jamaica

MONTEGO BAY — Every place has its own special taste, its own signature flavour.

In Jamaica, that’s undoubtedly jerk, the world-famous seasoning with a history as old as the island.

And if you’re looking for true Jamaican jerk, Scotchie’s is the place.

For many, this is the best jerk in Jamaica (though some people in Portland might disagree with you).

Above: the hot sauce at Scotchie’s (caution: use at your own risk)

A bamboo-styled roadside shack off the main highway in Montego Bay, Scotchie’s is a Jamaican institution, with three outposts around the island and another planned to open in Belize.

The brainchild of owner Tony Rerrie, Scotchie’s has been around for 12 years (though it feels significantly longer), and has developed a cult following among jerk devotees.

Scotchie’s has three main jerk varieties: chicken, pork and fish, all cooked in the authentic Jerk style using pimento wood, with a host of traditional Jamaican side dishes, from festival, the fried dumpling-style delight, to butter-smooth breadfruit.

Above: jerk pork at Scotchie’s

We were particularly partial to the scrumptious jerk pork, a smoky, sweet, tender masterpiece, along with another, somewhat unheralded menu item: the succulent chicken sausage.

Above: the chicken sausage at Scotchie’s

It’s not unlikely to find the lunch line here stretching around the block, as this is the one place you cannot go without visiting when you’re in Montego Bay.

Above: jerk chicken

Scotchie’s is, simply, jerk perfection.

— CJ

 

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