Jamaican Seasoning 101

Before we dive into our top Jamaican seasonings, let’s break down what is ‘seasoning’.

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Seasoning extends to all ingredients used to add flavor to your dish. This includes salt, pepper, herbs and spices which all make your cooking different from the rest. Seasonings are used in cooking, whether it be at the beginning or at the end, to add flavor if used correctly and in the right proportion.

We have ease of access to our Jamaican seasonings because they are locally grown, harvested, and sold to our very own master chefs, home chefs, and inventors of some of our very own, all time favorite, bottled seasonings such as the Jamaican Jerk Seasoning. Some however were brought into the country by people in North America, Italy, other Caribbean countries, and other parts of the world.

From your garden or farm, or your local market, the must have seasonings in your kitchen should be cilantro, pimento, scotch bonnet pepper, basil, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon leaves, scallion, thyme, garlic, onion, wild parsley, sweet pepper, and your more refined seasonings should be salt, black pepper, paprika, turmeric, curry, brown sugar, cinnamon, peppermint, rosemary, and vanilla.

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Seasonings also provide our bodies with the health benefits we need. For instance; cinnamon lowers blood sugar and is a powerful anti-diabetic formula, ginger fights anti-inflammation and treats nausea, peppermint can also be used to reduce nausea and relieves Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), turmeric combats anti-inflammation, rosemary prevents allergies and nasal congestion, garlic fights bacterial infections and improves heart health, wild parsley boosts the immune system and cleanse the colon, and scotch bonnet pepper boosts your metabolism.

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Where cooking is concerned, to achieve the maximum level of flavor in your meal, you should know your spices and herbs well enough to determine which can be paired together. For example, paprika and garlic powder adds a delicious spicy flavor to your dish, and again if you really, really love extra spicy food, pairing crushed ginger and scotch bonnet pepper to your dish, will definitely give you that red hot flavor that’s extremely mouthwatering. Now that’s a lot of heat! For different protein options and vegetables, the choices of spices and herbs may pretty much be used right across the board. Let’s get into it:

Chicken- garlic, thyme, escallion, curry, basil, paprika, onion, pimento, parsley, black pepper, turmeric, salt, rosemary, scotch bonnet pepper, sweet pepper

Beef- rosemary, pimento, onion, garlic, escallion, basil, thyme, salt, sweet pepper, black pepper, scotch bonnet pepper, parsley

Seafood- ginger, garlic, black pepper, rosemary, scotch bonnet pepper, pimento, onion, escallion, thyme, salt, parsley, basil, sweet pepper, turmeric

Vegetables- onion, sweet pepper, basil, parsley, garlic, thyme, scotch bonnet pepper, rosemary, salt, black pepper

Sure all the above seasonings mentioned can be chopped, grinded, or blended separately to your own liking before adding to your meat or vegetables, but we all know the universal blend of all seasoning ingredients. So let’s look at All Purpose Seasoning.

All purpose seasoning is a combination of spices mixed together which includes salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, pimento, onion powder, thyme, and parsley. If you observe the labels carefully on the bottles of manufactured seasonings, you’ll see that almost all forms of all purpose seasonings have salt, black pepper and garlic powder as the common ingredients. The purpose of all purpose seasoning is to enjoy pre-measured herbs and spices per meal.

Our Jamaican Island Spice All Purpose Seasoning has a special blend of herbs and spices that can be used on just about any dish. The ingredients used are Jamaican pimento, ginger, paprika, salt, sugar, onion flakes, oregano, thyme, black pepper, and celery. If you’re not living in Jamaica, our all purpose seasoning can be purchased on Amazon.

Photo by Anjo’s Imports

Island Spice has become so diverse with their original flavor that they have also created pork seasoning, Jamaican curry powder, meat seasoning, oxtail seasoning, ginger powder, chicken seasoning, turmeric powder, just to name a few, all of which are Products of Jamaica. Let us not forget about their sauces which are truly flavorful. There are scotch bonnet pepper sauce, hot pepper sauce, pineapple pepper sauce, Jamaican jerk sauce, jerk barbecue sauce, mango pepper sauce, and jerk seasoning marinade.

So for your next grocery shopping trip, try adding some of these spices and sauces to your cart if you’ve never tried them before. They might just be what’s missing from your dish.

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