The Jamaican cuisine has a variety of cultural influences. The culture of the local indigenous people who inhabit this island is mixed with the culture of several foreign countries, such as Spain, Africa, England, Ireland, India, and China when these settlers inhabited the island. This cultural influence also appears in the typical Jamaican dessert.
Jamaican food is unique, including the desserts. Jamaican desserts taste no less tantalizing than desserts from other countries. The following is a list of dessert choices from the country of Jamaica which is famous for its raggae music.
This Jamaican dessert is believed to have come from Portuguese or Jewish origin, which in Portuguese is called guizada. Its other names are grizzada and pinch-me-round. The gizzada is filled with sweet coconut covered with brown sugar and aromatic spices. This mixture of ingredients produces an explosion of flavors.
Coconuts used can be fresh coconuts or coconuts purchased in stores. For the filling, you don’t need to bake, just mix all the ingredients while the cake is baking.
Shaped like the sun, this open tart reminds the beholder of the good times and happy days. Need a mood booster? Try making this cake.
- Coconut Drops
Coconut drops are a traditional Jamaican dessert. This snack in Jamaica was one of the first snacks sold at school gates. The taste of this snack is sweet, chewy, and has a unique texture. This snack is in the form of coconut pieces that are soft and chewy and with a delicious taste.
How to make it is by boiling small pieces of coconut in a mixture of brown sugar and spices such as ginger powder, vanilla, and salt. Once mixed then made into lumps and allowed to cool on a flat surface so that the cake is formed. The visual appearance of this cake is unusual.
Jamaicans love the combination of coconut, sugar, and ginger from coconut drops and the ingredients mix perfectly with each other. Jamaicans generally use banana leaves as a base to “drop” the hot mixture onto, but if you don’t have one, and oiled tray will do the trick. This mixture hardens and cools within 10 minutes.
- The Grater Cake
The grater cake is a typical Jamaican dessert that is very sweet and should be consumed in moderation. When wet brown sugar was used instead of white sugar, the grater cake was called a grater brute.
It is called grater cake because the coconut is grated (grater means grated or grated). There is also another name for this cake, namely sugar cake or pink on top. This cake is made from grated coconut and a lot of granulated sugar, then boiled with vanilla and other spices.
The mixture of ingredients was then separated into two parts, one of which was added with pink food coloring. The white part is then poured into a greased baking dish, then the colored ingredients are added to it. Before enjoying it, let it cool for 10 minutes.
If made right, the outside of this cake is thin and crunchy and the inside is soft, pliable, and chewy. For a rich, creamy grater cake, choose unsweetened old or desiccated coconut. In Jamaica, coconut is one of the most valuable crops. This plant is the main source of food, drink, and shelter.
- Hummingbird Cake
Hummingbird cake is a typical Jamaican dessert that is generally made of flour, banana, vegetable oil, pecans, pineapple, eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and yeast ingredients. This cake is usually served with cream cheese frosting.
The cake, which is often thought to have been invented in the late 1960s, was originally called the doctor bird cake. This name refers to the nickname for a variant of the Jamaican hummingbird or hummingbird known as the red ribbon tail.
Most people believe that the name of this cake is taken from the name of the bird because the yellow line of the banana reminds people of the feathers of a bird. Others say the name was given because the cake was sweet enough to attract hummingbirds.
Jamaica’s tourism board 1968 wanted to attract tourists. They shipped press equipment to the United States. In the equipment, there is also a hummingbird cake recipe. In no time the cake began to appear all over the southern United States. Now, this cake is more popular in the United States than in Jamaica.
- Tamarind Balls
Tamarind balls or tamarind balls are a typical Jamaican dessert made with sticky tamarind, water, and brown sugar. This tiny delicacy is a sweet and sour candy. To make it only takes three ingredients and does not need to be cooked.
The three ingredients are mixed and made into round balls. It has a unique taste, a mixture of sweet and sour. Plus, there’s the Guiana version of the sour ball, which is spicy because of the chili and garlic added to the mix. For the alcoholic version added rum to it.
- Sweet Potato Pudding
Sweet potato pudding or sweet potato pudding has a sweet and aromatic taste. While the texture is soft and creamy. Usually, delicious snacks require a lot of effort in the manufacturing process. Generally, the process involves grating all the required sweet potatoes by hand.
After that, the sweet potato is mixed with sugar, coconut milk, and flour then the dough is baked over a wood/coal fire. Usually, this method in the past used fire techniques above and below. But thanks to the electric oven, now this cake can be served warm and in an hour.
The pudding itself is very flavorful due to the use of sweet potato, coconut milk, and spices, but the custard with a cherry on top adds a sweet taste that is just right for every bite. This cake can be eaten as a dessert or snack. This food is quite filling and if you are in a hurry this cake does not need to be warmed because it can be eaten warm or cold.
Duckanoo, also known as tie-a-leaf or blue drawer, has a long history. This food originates from Ghana and was brought by Africans to the Caribbean. Duckanoo is a delicious mix that is almost the same as sweet potato pudding or sweet potato pudding whose ingredients include sweet potatoes, coconut, green bananas, brown sugar, and spices.
Usually, the dough is wrapped in green banana leaves and then tied, then boiled. This dish is ready within an hour. Duckanoo is also part of a takeaway picnic or party menu because of its small leaf-wrapped shape.
Duckanoo is often eaten without any accompaniment, but it can also be eaten with a coconut placed on the side of a partially peeled banana on one plate.
- Bulla Cake
Round and flat in shape, bulla cake is made from flour, molasses, and baking powder. These cakes can be light or dark in color and are often flavored with ginger or nutmeg. Very often this cake is served with butter, cheese, or avocado. This cake first appeared in the 19th century and since the 1980’s most of these cakes are produced by major bakeries in Jamaica.
Not only is this cake easy to make, but it’s also gluten-free and vegan. In addition, this cake is also a super healthy snack. A typical Jamaican dessert, bulla cake has been used as a symbol and symbol associated with development in this archipelagic nation.
- Ginger Cake
Ginger cake, also known as Jamaican ginger cake, is a classic Jamaican dessert. Often this cake is made and served for Christmas events in Jamaica. However, these rich, nutty cakes make for great tea every day.
The texture of this cake is moist and full of warm spices making it the perfect dessert. This cake smells delicious, especially when it’s fresh out of the oven. To eat it, the cake must be allowed to cool completely before cutting.
- Banana Pancakes
Banana pancakes are a favorite in many parts of the world and this is nothing new. However, each country has its style and tradition in making this dish. The Jamaican version uses ripe bananas that are mashed and mixed with many ingredients that are in the kitchens of each country, then deep-fried like deep-fried foods.
For the Jamaican version, these pancakes are also on a breakfast or lunch menu which are usually served with a sprinkling of powdered sugar on top. The aroma of fried bananas and the seasoning creates a distinctive taste, especially when served freshly fried. Plus, the slightly crunchy sugar garnish adds a certain charm to this classic dish.
That’s a row of 10 delicious Jamaican desserts to eat as a snack, breakfast, or lunch menu. Some of these desserts are similar to those in Indonesia, such as duckanoo or tamarind balls.
The materials used are not difficult to obtain in our country. So, if you are curious about a typical Jamaican dessert, you can immediately look for the recipe and practice. Good luck!