Jerk Festival Heats Up Portland

Staff Writer
Chefs use jerked foods to celebrate Jamaica

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

The annual Portland Jerk Festival June 29 – July 1 celebrates Jamaica’s 50 years of independence.

Some 25 authentic Jamaican chefs prepare an assortment of jerk dishes, including pork, chicken, beef, goat, sausage, conch, lobster and fish.

The Portland Jerk Festival sticks true to its word, ensuring that all food items in sight at the festival are jerked. Typically this means that each food is rubbed with spices, such as bonnet pepper and pimento, and then laid over a fiery charcoal grill or pimento wood, resulting in spicy, tender flavor.

The Portland Jerk Festival aims to raise America’s appetite for traditional Jamaican jerk cooking with eating and cooking competitions complimented with live musical performances.

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