Even the smallest of Jamaican towns has grocery stores and/or modern supermarkets, but many discerning Jamaicans still head to the market on weekends to stock up on ground provisions, fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices and even meat and fish. There’s just something about the Jamaican market – it’s a hub of activity – lively, vibrant and a place where you can find the heartbeat and pulse of the local people! All your five senses will be engaged as you wend your way through an often unstructured and sometimes confusing maze of laden stalls., and you can touch, feel, smell and taste your way to a delicious and healthy Sunday Dinner! And the best advantage over the supermarket – it’s always cheaper!
Market regulars often have their favourite vendors who know what they want and will put it aside for them till they get there. Regular market goers can expect a little ‘brawta’ too. ‘Brawta’ – just another Jamaican expression you’ll learn as you tour the streets of Jamaica with us!
On our Falmouth Food Tour in Falmouth, we give our guests an insight into the hustle and bustle of a typical market in Jamaica, and introduce them to the traditional items that usually load down our baskets and shopping bags on market day. We also take our guests back in time to the start of Jamaica’s vibrant market tradition – more than two hundred years ago during the sugar plantation era. Back then, Plantation slaves were given small plots of land by their masters to plant ground provisions to supplement their meagre food rations. They used their only free time – Saturday afternoons and Sundays to sell or exchange produce in the market which they would usually organize in the town square or some other central place. The money was used to buy items such as clothing and shoes, and in many cases saved up for years to buy the most precious commodity of all – freedom!
One of the island’s first open air market was located in Water Square, the town square of Falmouth and a heritage site with an interesting history of its own. The Falmouth open air market operated until 1896 when the Albert George Market was constructed to house the market activities. The well-informed tour guides on our Falmouth Food Tour introduce our guests to Water Square as well as to the Albert George Market which boasts a prominent Clock Tower and a remarkably complex architecture in keeping with the town’s renowned Georgian character.
Falmouth is also home to Jamaica’s most famous and cheapest “bendung” market. But more about that anon….. right now fresh produce await and there’s market shopping to be done!