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Jerk from Jamaica: Barbecue Caribbean Style Paperback – April 1, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Willinsky, a Jamaican native, first published this volume in 1990, and in this lively and completely revised edition, she begins by explaining exactly what jerk is ("an authentic Jamaican method of cooking pork, chicken, seafood, beef, fruits, and vegetables over a fire pit or on a barbeque grill") and how it's seasoned (in general, a combination of scallions, onions, thyme, pimento, cinnamon, nutmeg, chilies and salt). She first explains how it's done in Jamaica (where jerk huts can be found everywhere), then demonstrates how these recipes can be adapted to a kitchen or backyard grill. Recipes for jerk rubs, dry seasonings and marinades are included in the first chapter, as well as a list of traditional Jamaican ingredients, like breadfruit, a large starchy vegetable. Chapters devoted to jerk pork, chicken, seafood, beef, lamb and goat recipes follow. Some are simple and traditional (Authentic Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Curry Goat), while others are variations using jerk seasoning like meat loaf, lamb kebobs, and stir-fried beef). Side dish recipes include Fried Plantains and Steamed Callaloo, a leafy green popular in Jamaica. Bright, colorful photos accompany these accessible recipes. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Those who have never sampled Jamaican cuisine have no idea of the great variety of flavors and textures offered by this Caribbean island's cuisine. An amalgam of native, British, Indian, and a bit of Chinese influence, Jamaican cooking satisfies on a deep level. Although some Jamaican dishes, such as curry goat, take some experience for North American palates to appreciate, jerk pork and chicken immediately appeal as especially fragrant, if spicy, versions of familiar barbecue. Willinsky deftly offers instructions on how to re-create Jamaican jerk on any backyard American grill by using a paste of herbs, allspice, and hot pepper. Creating this homemade rub allows the cook to adjust the spiciness to an appropriate heat. Willinsky offers recipes for a full range of Jamaican specialties including rice and peas, fried plantains, and ginger beer. She also explains how to make Jamaican meat patties, certain to be a hit at any potluck. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; Revised edition (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580088422
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580088428
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.6 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #195,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I received "Jerk from Jamaica" in the mail on Saturday, and my husband and I couldn't resist planning a feast for the next day. Already I'm singing the praises of this book, and I just can't get enough of the leftovers.

Helen Willinsky grew up in Jamaica, studied cooking in Europe, and ran a resort in Jamaica; she includes family recipes, traditional recipes, and recipes that blend older Jamaican elements with newer ingredients and traditions. She strikes a beautiful balance, one so many authors fail to achieve, between introducing us to traditional methods and ingredients and yet making it possible for us to enjoy Jamaican flavors in our own kitchens even if we don't have access to a barbecue grill or all of the traditional Jamaican flavorings.

You'll need access to some sort of barbecue grill or the equivalent in order to get the most out of this cookbook, it's true, but it's certainly worth buying even if you don't have that. Oven directions are included for many recipes, and there are even adaptations to the slow cooker and other such modern conveniences. A few sources for ingredients are provided, as well as substitutions using more commonly-found items.

The quality of the recipes is right up there with the Sugar Mill cookbook, but this book focuses primarily on a simpler, narrower type of cooking. It's easy to whip up these recipes with little advance notice, but they'll satisfy your tastebuds for days on end. If you're looking for something new to do with your grill, this will certainly qualify!
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When we went to Jamaica in '05 for the first time, we broke out of the all-inclusive, rented a driver and took a day trip long the north coast. We had our first meat patties and stopped at the driver's favorite jerk stand and had our first real jerk chicken washed down with Red Stripe.

When we cook out of this book, every recipe takes us back. We brought Helen's first book back with us from Jamaica and we never cooked anything from it that we didn't enjoy. What I get from this book is the sense of Jerk. I grow my own Scotch Bonnets and now prefer them over the many Habanero varieties I've grown. I look for the biggest Jamaican pimento berries I can find (usually at a Mexican grocery).

If you've ever had jerk and wondered if you can do it too--buy this book. You can! Follow her recipes and it will be jerk, Mon.
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Format: Paperback
I am a Jamaican that has lived in the United States going on 9 years.I love to cook and I love jerk chicken and have tried many different variations of this recipe from online resources, marinades and other cookbooks. The results have always been disappointing, to say the least. I bought this book based on the reviews and tried one of the first recipes, the jerk marinade. I marinated it in chicken over night and cooked it on my gas grill with pimento wood chips as instructed - oh my goodness it was delicious! Tasted just like the jerk chicken I grew up with and love. Finally an authentic jerk recipe that I can make for my friends and family members!
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By Kay on February 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
We have been working our way through this cookbook. Every recipe we have tried has been wonderful. Spicy, bright, flavorful. We love it. Recipes are easy to follow, results wonderful
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I made the spice rub like the recipe in the book and have mainly cooked some of the chicken. It tastes very munch like that I buy down the street at a place that makes jerk dishes. The "cook" is from Jamaica and he says thats the way they make it down there. The tastes are quite a departure from any other foods I have eaten. The book is very well laid out with many pretty pictures. Tom...
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Ms. Willinsky has put together a very down to earth, readable and do-able cook book. I've tried three of the meats and one of the salads, and intend to do more. None of the jerk is too hot as written -- add your own peppers as you wish -- so nothing to be afraid cf "jerk" you may have had elsewhere. The flavors are very subtle.
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I ordered this by accident. As it turns out its a really good book with recipes, tips and facts about Jerk and it's history.
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One reviewer says that this book is about one marinade and one recipe for each type of meat. Its true, you get the basic marinades and sauces and then becomes too simplistic. There are very few pictures to see the finished product but the flavors are genuine. Until this or other books on jerk are published with more graphic material, this will be your go to book for jerk flavor. Along with tandoori and barbecue, this completes a trio of cooking sytles that can make you a very dangrous cook.
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