Jamaica, mon

The Royal Indian Mounted Police wanted Caribbean food on his last night in town. There are a surprising number of Caribbean restaurants in Milwaukee. I mean, I was surprised there was even one. There were none when I had mine.

We ordered (for pick up) conch fritters, Jamaican patties, jerk chicken and curry chicken (and rice pudding for dessert but we did not eat that). Aside from the hell of styrofoam and plastic, something I did not think about, I don’t usually order food delivered so plastic waste was not top of mind, it looked and smelled fabulous.

Unfortunately it was not. The conch fritters were inedible and the patties were OK but really, one of my most treasured food memories is of patties on the beach in Montego Bay. These were not that. I ate it though and after that I was no longer hungry. To be honest the chicken, while it smelled good looked like chicken backs mostly. It was kind of chopped up which is pretty much how it would be in Jamaica, so OK. We didn’t eat it and the next day (he was gone by then) I made it into jerk chicken soup. I don’t think I know that there is anything like that but how could I miss?

I slopped it all into a pot with a lot of cabbage, some celery, a can of tomatoes and the rice and beans that came with the dinners and added all the right spices.

IT WAS SOOOOOO DELICIOUS but each mouthful held little bits of needle-like bone and odd chunks of vertebrae. I soldiered through for a while but by the 3rd or 4th time I jabbed my palate and wedged a bony thing in my teeth I stopped. I threw it away. I could see no way to save it.

It was really good though and so I am currently concepting a jerk chicken soup (stew?) recipe.

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