Island Food – Jamaica

September 10, 2011

We always plan to take one vacation a year.

Now, if you are a regular reader you are likely wondering what I’m talking about considering posts about South Carolina and Ireland have already popped up this year. This requires that I share some definitions with you.

We travel a lot. I wouldn’t have my life any other way. In fact, since we returned from Brazil we haven’t traveled nearly enough for me. I have to have travel. I’ve been known to say I like the airports, the lengthy flights, the squeezing all my liquids into a little baggie. That’s because in return I get incredible food, gorgeous scenery and a glimpse into other cultures.

Those trips that require hotel hopping, scheduling sight-seeing, going so fast that you come back more exhausted than you left; that’s travel and I love it.

But I also love vacation.

Vacation is what we did over Labor Day weekend. We headed back to our favorite tropical location – Jamaica. We floated, ate, drank, read, watched sunsets. Aside from a couple squash matches and walks on the beach, we did absolutely nothing. That’s vacation.

To adequately achieve this definition of vacation, we go for all-inclusive resorts, specifically Sandals. Despite mixed feelings on this type of vacation from travelers, we have never been disappointed. Its true relaxation and every bit of the paradise we want.

So we headed back to Sandals Whitehouse which is tucked in on the southern coast of the country; secluded with no planes overhead, a gorgeous beach, big pools and peaceful sunsets. All this along with our favorite martini bar, a nearly 24-hour pastry café and the best you can get of actual Jamaican food in a resort setting.

So here’s the part you are waiting for. The food and drink! Enjoy and I’ll be back in the kitchen soon.

Our welcome Rum Punch in the lobby.

Appetizers and martinis every night before dinner at the martini bar. This one has smoked marlin.

Appetizer tasting with smoked salmon, squid and octopus.

Fried calamari with a Greek salad.

Seafood ravioli.

Seafood stew in a white sauce, one of our favorites.

Fresh juice in the mornings, this one with melon and pineapple.

Red Stripe on the beach, enough said.

Our favorite lunch, blackened red snapper sandwich on coco bread with jerk mayo.

It may not look all that good in the photo, but Jamaican Pepper Pot soup is our favorite.

Jerk chicken, not as good as what you’d find from a street vendor, but still tasty and spicy.

Curry goat was the special one day for lunch, again may not look great, but tasted amazing.

Did I mention that cafe?

Every afternoon was just like this, pastries and a cappuccino.

Pumpkin Cheesecake and that’s Carrot Cake behind it.

Crepes for our final breakfast before boarding the bus to the airport.
I also took the garden tour offered at the resort and was introduced to some wonderful flowers and trees. These are seagrapes and we did get to taste them, nice and sweet with a huge seed in the middle.
Indian Almond, only about 10 plants or trees were native to Jamaica the rest have washed up on the shore over the years.
Soursop, our guide was so surprised when I knew what this was. What can I say, we travel a lot.
Jamaican Ackee, not yet ripe, but we saw ripe ones all over on the drive to the resort. When it ripens the big black seeds will become exposed.
Noni, which I had not heard of before but apparently it goes for a pretty penny in the States as a remedy for cancer.

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  • Angie (Losing It and Loving It) September 10, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Ahhh Jamaica! We are going to miss getting there this year. First time in 5 years. Yikes! BUT we did win the Marriott Resort 2 Romance contest and they will be sending us off to St. Thomas Virgin Islands very soon. Cannot wait. I won’t miss out on the Caribbean after all this year.

    Back to Jamaica, we love the all inclusive too (we stay at Couples in Negril). All those pictures made me homesick. I swear one day we’ll move there…and it would be sooner than later if their Internet wasn’t so spotty on the island because I have to have Internet to make a living.

    Can’t wait to get back next year.

  • MelindaRD September 10, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Looks like a wonderful vacation. I have never been to Jamaica, but maybe one day I will get there. I’ve got plenty to explore on this side of the world now.

    I have the travel bug too. I travel a lot too. I guess I never really get a true vacation because I am always working when I travel and I am on vacation. I teach with 2 online schools, but work is mobile, so I am free to go where ever, when ever, as long as I can fit in a hour here and an hour there to get some work done. Ryan goes to school so he usually takes some time for that too, or I work when he is napping. But with that, I can take trips at my leisure. I’m heading to CA next week for the ADA conference, and then adding on time in San Fran for a friends 30th. Then I plenty of other ideas sprouting up too. When I read posts like this I get warm and fuzzy and usually head over to airline and travel websites and start thinking about all the possibilities. Glad you get to travel and enjoy so much too.

  • TasteHongKong September 10, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Haven’t been to the Caribbean region : (. I guess it is a safe place to visit as all the pirates have gone to the theme parks : ). Your pictures tell, it is peaceful too …

  • Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) September 11, 2011 at 12:28 am

    I was sold when you said “martini bar”. That would pretty much define vacation for me right there!

    And sadly, I have never been on an all inclusive, relax and do nothing vacation before. I figure if I’m going to spend all that money, I need to be on the go seeing and doing things the whole time. I can relax at home. Perhaps one day I will change my mind…if only for the martinis 😉

  • Andrea September 11, 2011 at 6:31 am

    Gorgeous! So glad that you guys got a chance to relax, and what great looking food. Yum!

  • Amanda September 11, 2011 at 11:32 am

    I want to go to a Sandals resort one of these days. I bet it would be so relaxing compared to the vacations we usually take.

    The food looks great!

  • chopinandmysaucepan September 11, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    I’ve never been to Jamaica but it looks like a beautiful place with some great food! The idyllic island vacation and hope there was some reggae music to put you guys in the mood too! Great pics

  • 5 Star Foodie September 11, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Sounds like a terrific vacation! Awesome food and drink here!

  • Lori September 13, 2011 at 6:31 am

    Angie – How cool about the contest! We’ve skipped Jamaica a couple years to go to Antigua and St. Lucia. Loved them too, but Jamaica remains our fave. I feel the same way about living there. We’ve talked about a second home there in the future, but right now we’ll just stick with visiting and hopefully doing it more than once a year!

    Melinda – That’s so great that you can take your work with you. At some point I want to get back to freelance writing so that I can do the same. Have fun in CA!!

    TasteHongKong – Oh yes, no pirates. 🙂 We never feel unsafe, always have a great time.

    Marianne – The martinis are always worth it. 😉

    Andrea – I could stare at the pictures all day. 2nd best thing to being there!

    Amanda – We’ve always had a fabulous time.

    chop – Love reggae especially steel drums. I know some people like Hawaii or Mexico, but the Caribbean is just our kind of place. 🙂

    5Star – It definitely was!

  • OysterCulture September 17, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    I’d not be complain, that looks like my kind of vacation anything with food involved.

  • kat September 20, 2011 at 6:45 am

    Sounds like a great vacation. I know what you mean between the different between traveling and vacation. Matt & I need to get a vacation in somewhere.