Jamaican Grocery Provides Authentic Street Foodstuff Encounter

An purchase of jerk pork at J & J Jamaican Grocery in Damariscotta. For $18, a significant to-go container is loaded to the brim with the key dish and three sides: Sauteed vegetables, rice with peas, and fried plantains. (Evan Houk photograph)

J & J Jamaican Grocery and Reward Shop presents an reliable avenue food stuff experience on Saturdays and Sundays in the coronary heart of downtown Damariscotta.

“It’s reliable,” reported Randal Souviney, 74, of San Diego, Calif., who was going to spouse and children and stopped to grab a bite on Sunday, Oct. 17. “It adds to the palate of the city.”

Souviney grew up in Dresden and utilised to play in a band called the Skavengers at the Merry Barn in Edgecomb when he was youthful. He stated his fellow band mates would also have enjoyed the authentic Jamaican foods.

Situated at 88 Primary St., the grocery retail outlet installed an outdoor deck for people to sit and take in. The deck is painted in bright pink, yellow, and inexperienced hues. About 10 to 15 people today arrived via on Sunday afternoon to get some food during the 45 minutes or so I was there.

The menu for Sunday provided jerk hen, jerk pork, curried chicken, brown stewed fish, and red pea soup with corn and hen. Every food arrived with a aspect of rice and peas, sautéed greens, and ripe fried plantains.

When I requested jerk hen on Sunday, co-owner Peter Ebanks created the wander to the smoker to accumulate the hen and explained the background of jerk cooking together the way.

Ebanks mentioned that the conventional jerk seasoning and cooking approach originated in Jamaica in the 17th century when runaway slaves would capture wild pigs and then bury them in the ground with warm coal and rocks to prepare dinner together with the jerk spices.

This was accomplished, he said, to conceal the smoke so as not to notify the authorities or plantation homeowners to the slaves’ whereabouts.

Peter Ebanks, co-owner of J & J Jamaican Grocery and Gift Shop in Damariscotta, talks to a customer while frying plantains and filling orders on Oct. 17. On Saturdays and Sundays, the store offers smoked jerk chicken and pork that comes with sauteed vegetables, fried plantains, and rice and peas. (Evan Houk photo)

Peter Ebanks, co-owner of J & J Jamaican Grocery and Present Store in Damariscotta, talks to a buyer though frying plantains and filling orders on Oct. 17. On Saturdays and Sundays, the retail outlet presents smoked jerk rooster and pork that comes with sauteed veggies, fried plantains, and rice and peas. (Evan Houk photo)

The major substances of the jerk marinade are allspice, thyme, and Scotch Bonnet peppers, which supply a spicy kick to the dish.

Ebanks stated he cooks the chicken for about a few hours at a temperature among 100 and 150 degrees. He retains the chicken in a tin foil pan inside the smoker so it does not dry out. The pork is cooked for about six hours.

The 2,000-pound smoker has the capability to prepare dinner up to 100 pieces of chicken at one time, which Ebanks has performed.

The jerk rooster was deliciously juicy and the meat and the pores and skin fell correct off the bone with no hard work. The jerk seasoning is a little spicy, which I enjoyed. It experienced just the ideal amount of heat to very clear out the sinuses and make a enjoyable tingle in the mouth.

If a single is delicate to spicy foods, the purple pea soup may perhaps be a better option.

For $18, any food is a pretty very good offer due to the fact the parts are tremendous and every get arrives with all three sides. Ebanks in essence filled a significant to-go container to the brim with all the delicious meals.

I was equipped to make my leftovers very last for two much more filling foods more than two days.

Peter Ebanks removes jerk chicken from his smoker in the back of the parking lot behind 88 Main St. He keeps the jerk chicken in a tin foil pan to retain the juices of the chicken so it doesn't dry out. (Evan Houk photo)

Peter Ebanks removes jerk chicken from his smoker in the back of the parking ton behind 88 Most important St. He keeps the jerk rooster in a tin foil pan to retain the juices of the hen so it does not dry out. (Evan Houk photograph)

All this foods is washed down properly with a uniquely flavored Ting, the refreshing Jamaican grapefruit soda that is readily available in the grocery keep.

I experimented with fried plantains for the very first time, which I believed I would love. There was something about the crispy exterior and mushy inside that did not pretty jive with my style buds or mouth-really feel while.

When I reheated the plantains on my cast iron pan at residence, nonetheless, the mushiness form of disappeared and I genuinely enjoyed the shocking sweetness inside the fried exterior.

The facet of greens incorporates environmentally friendly beans, carrots, cabbage, onions, scallions, and garlic. Ebanks reported that since of the soil in Jamaica, scallions that are grown there have a one of a kind taste.

Ebanks claimed that J & J Jamaican Grocery and Present Shop was originally only going to market grocery merchandise, not ready-to-try to eat foods. On the other hand, after quite a few requests for organized food items, he made a decision to seek out acceptance from the town for his smoker.

The smoker experienced to be moved from the deck to the back again of the parking ton for the reason that of hearth code violations soon after it was at first authorised by the Damariscotta Scheduling Board, according to Damariscotta’s former Code Enforcement Officer Stanley Waltz.

The store has been active since firing up the smoker in late August, in particular all through the 1st weekend of Damariscotta Pumpkinfest, Oct. 8-10, which experienced Ebanks smoking cigarettes meat virtually non-stop to maintain up with demand from customers.

For more info, phone 563-6652 or visit J & J Jamaican Grocery and Present Shop’s Facebook web site.

Trisha Anderson

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