Well November marked a busy month for food lovers in Jamaica. One local newspaper sponsored the National Food Month which included the hugely popular Restaurant Week as well as food events around the country and even over in Florida. Another newspaper sponsored Saveur which featured caterers and wine merchants. Jamaican foodies were in heaven and the caterers, restaurants, coffeeshops, bistros and bars were very happy too!
And so we roll into December which promises to be yet another busy month. Bakers will be soaking their fruit – prunes, raisins and currants in rum and wine in preparation for the baking of incomparable Jamaican-style Christmas puddings and cakes. The longer the fruit soak, the better the pudding tastes, so some bakers will have started the process a few weeks back. And others may even have started baking already, especially if they are sending puddings and cakes to family and friends overseas by snail mail.
There is no shortage of foodie events in December. Harmony Hall in St. Mary started the ball rolling on December 1 with the hosting of its 32nd anniversary art exhibition, and several foodie entrepreneurs including our friends at Stush in the Bush were there showcasing their unique gourmet products. Coming up on December 14 is yet another foodie heaven event – the Christmas edition of Kingston Kitchens to be held on the beautiful lush lawns of Hope Gardens. This culinary fair never fails to deliver – there are always new products to see and taste, and it’s an opportunity to pick up unique food gifts for those people who already seem to have just about everything! And of course, the experience, the ‘vibes’ and the buzz are just simply electric! Can’t wait!
The month of December will also be dotted with numerous art and craft fairs, and it’s a good chance to support local vendors and pick up unique Christmas gifts. Food vendors are always there so shoppers get to fill their stomachs as well as their shopping carts! The Christmas season is also a good time for organizations and companies to say thank you to their clients, so customer appreciation days with Christmas Cake and Sorrel are sure to abound. And of course, everyone welcomes an invite or two to corporate Christmas parties where there’s food, drink and dancing galore!
Most Jamaicans still enjoy Christmas and New Year’s with friends and family but many are taking the easier route and going to hotels or restaurants rather than cooking at home. The heat is already on in the kitchen, and it’s clearly going to be a tough decision as the favourite dining hot spots are all trying to outdo one another with their tantalizing offers of creative and imaginative yuletide gourmet fare.
So there you have it – lots happening in December for Jamaican foodies – here’s hoping you can join us!