Back in the 70’s, my work sent me to live in Montego Bay Jamaica, or “ Mo-Bay Town’ in the local parlance.  I was the liaison for a car rental company establishing itself in the Caribbean.  I covered Jamaica, and Ocho Rios which had a Playboy Club, Negril, famous for its beaches, Kingston, the capitol, known for political, drugs,  killings, and social unrest, and Montego Bay proper for the cruise boat trade.  With victory I was to expand the operation to other Islands, from the Bahamas to the tip of South America.  I was elated 

Fun times and I made friends and loved the people.  If it worked out  we were going into the rest of the Caribbean.  At six locations, basically a dream job, but our test country, Jamaica had a few problems.  Cruise Ship Dominance Growing and literally owning the people by hire and the town. Thus they owned the ports and tourist trade.   Bus tours took over and safer.

For a car rental they had some of the worst single lane roads in existence.  They drove on the wrong side since it was a British territory at one time.  The maniacal drivers called locales had a death wish.  Huge Aluminum Ore trucks on skinny winding roads with drop-offs. An abundance of gange, (Marajuana) Joke: Yup the stuff grows like weeds!  The highest death rate per accident rate in the Caribbean, crash , most likely you die.  The competition from the Cruise Ship lines who saw rentals as an added income and had power with the locals because ships bring as many as and more than a thousand guests a day and there's the tourist income.  

AFTER TWO YEARS —  After a couple years, the boss pulled the plug. It was sad, I liked Jamaica and had made some good friends, including participation in the local Jerk Food diet. 

Not all, Zantac hadn’t been invented yet.   My entire diet on Jamaica, since I was living in a hotel was on per diem,  so I went native, and ate a lot cheaper than the hotel and tourist traps even though they were very kind and generous to me since I hired their kin.   I also had corn flakes brought in with every plane from the states, my guys brought me plantains every morning, and fresh milk.

I had two friends I made there, Donald, a native born Jamaican who was my assistant for the company and the other my friend Shackat Daly, owner of a scuba dive boat company.  He is Indian and was weaned I think on Habanero milk.  His mother was the local Justice of the Peace and the most wonderful people I knew till I returned forty years later.  She passed and I will miss her.

It’s a miracle I still have my lower tract after eating with these two guys learning about both hot Jamaican and hot Indian food.  I learned:  For some reason hot does not mean short life.   But food wise it’s not as bad as you think.  We’ll use this as an intro to Jamaican and Indian style cooking which uses several of my favorite condiments and spices and we’ll Jerk you around, man.  

All heat is based on amount, preparation and intensity.   Removing the pith ( the white part supporting the seeds) and the seeds cuts most peppers in half, cooking handles the other half. It’s a controllable environment.

Here are some of the more common dishes and spices from around the world… we’ll start with the Chili’s own dictionary…please click.… 


Start Here   The Chili Corner