I'm still cooing after my recent Jamaican experience! It's my second trip in a year and at a different time of year. My trip was spent in Kingston and for this visit I booked a lovely Airbnb instead of a hotel, a more relaxed choice for me and much cheaper.
The last time I stayed in Kingston for any length of time was over twenty years ago, long before I became aware of raw food or knew about veganism. Needless to say raw wasn't a big thing back then either, although vegan Ital food has been around in Jamaica for a very long time in the Rastafarian tradition. Imagine how thrilled I was to discover that there two vegan cafe's minutes from where I was staying, Natural Touch at and New Leaf at Lane Plaza, not to mention my discovery of others spread throughout the city. Sadly I wasn't able to visit them all this time around (I plan to visit again soon), but my other favourite place for totally raw food was 'Mi Hungry' in Marketplace, located just behind Usain Bolt's restaurant. Juices are available everywhere, fresh coconut water from roadside vendors and from juice cafes. I saw a couple of interesting juice places at Devon House.
The best part of the experience though, was the two mango trees in the garden, which provided a daily harvest of the sweetest, most juicy mangos I've ever tasted; plus all the other fruit that is now in season. This time around, I had the pleasure of sampling fruit and vegan dishes I've never encountered before, I'm telling you, I was literally in raw soul food heaven, (smile).
In the photo above, you can see otaheite apples (Jamaican apples) which I bought a bag of in the market, and apart from consuming copious amounts of ripe mangos' (as opposed to the un-ripened varieties we get in the UK), I also happily tried out star apple and hog plums; along with enjoying super fresh jelly coconut water.
I loved the completely raw 'nyam burger' and fresh juices from Mi Hungry, the pizza made from a bammy (fermented cassava) base, topped with ackee and veggies from New Leaf and the most filling power protein smoothie with sea moss and flax, that I've ever had from Natural Touch.
And I just happened to bump into the famous Tarus Riey, reggae super star on his lunch break one afternoon in New Leaf!
It may not seem like a spectacular experience to those for whom living on a beautiful tropical island is the norm, but for me born and raised in London, where the tropical fruit we can access is mostly harvested while un-ripened and is therefore often bland, this kind of experience is definitely spectacular for me.
I have been so inspired from all my journeys during the past year, that a prolific stream of raw soul food recipes are just streaming into my consciousness, so you know that I'll be in the kitchen re-creating them, right? You can grab a few of my latest recipes creations, inspired by my trips to Jamaica and India in the food section of this website.
So these photo's show a coconut vendor, my star apple, otaheite and mango breakfast, running into reggae star Tarus Riley in New Leaf and last, my delicious nyam burger from Mi Hungry.
Hope you've enjoyed my sharing about my foodie trip to Jamaica.
Sending you big Caribbean hugs