Souvenirs from Jamaica
Visitors to the friendly island destination of Jamaica are delighted with the welcoming attitude of the local population, and seek out the best Jamaican souvenirs to remember their vacation with. Straw markets, where all manner of local crafts are sold, are the perfect place to purchase pottery, bead and shell jewelry, and ceramics. Rastafarian wood carvings are carefully sculpted from various types of wood found on the island, and are prized for their unique shapes. Items crafted from straw are a typical souvenir from Jamaica, such as sun hats, mats and purses. Naturally, the best accompaniment to a sun hat is a sun dress, made from locally printed batik fabric, in vibrant shades. The most popular color combinations are the red yellow and green shades found in the national flag, and used in hats, T-shirts, postcards and other iconic designs. Key chains and refrigerator magnets, printed with slogans and icons, finish our list of recommended souvenirs.
Jamaican food is a mix of flavors and traditions from the colonial elements that have all left a mark on the island. African, Spanish, British and Chinese techniques and spices are used on indigenous ingredients to create a fusion of tastes. A few of the popular dishes are jerk chicken, fried plantains and dumplings, salted cod, curried goat and steamed cabbage. The native islanders created the Jerk spice mix that is almost synonymous with Jamaica while attempting to preserve meat in salt, peppers and allspice. Fried patties are a variation on the Spanish empanada, a meat filled dumpling, while the African influence of many spices came with the many slaves that worked plantations. British occupation established a fondness for tea, with Jamaicans drinking the most tea in the Caribbean. The Rastafarian religion focuses on healthy eating and, as a result, there are many vegetarian dishes that are served to its followers.