Salt fish, Ackee and celebrating Jamaica

Music and food are two essential elements to a healthy life and the Frank Sound Church of God is bringing both to us on Saturday, 21 July.

First up is a midday lunch, which costs $10 and includes a load of ace Jamaican dishes including dookunu, roast corn, roast yam and salt fish, mannish water, jerk chicken, potato pudding and a mess of other awesome stuff.

Latoya Francis tells the Compass all about these declutches Jamaican eats.

“Our food is truly a celebration of the diverse cultures we boast – but with a touch of novelty and innovation,” she says.

“It is very spicy consisting of our island herbs. For example, the Jamaican jerk as it is renowned worldwide, is a style of cooking courtesy of the Drum Pan native to us in which meats – traditionally pork, chicken and fish – are dry-rubbed with a fiery spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice. This jerk seasoning principally relies upon two items: Jamaican pimento, called allspice, and Scotch bonnet peppers. The Arawaks – the island’s earliest recorded inhabitants – contributed the famous “jerk” idea.

“The Indian influence is also dominant in our curry dishes. Today, we not only have curry meats, but curried vegetables and fruits. We depend greatly on our ground provisions. For example, Bammy is made from cassava, a perennial woody shrub, grown as an annual crop,” Latoya says. We’re already sold. It’s not necessary to buy tickets in advance, she says, but it would assist with alleviating long lines. A delivery service is also being considered.

Music night

At 7pm, also at the Frank Sound church, is a celebration concert which is hosted by Grandpa Dale, Latoya says.

“Grandpa Dale is a comedian who is very versatile in the way in which he presents the Jamaican culture and dialect to his audience. His unique way of making people from all nationalities feel that they can be a part of the Jamaican culture. The humour and body language that he presents while on stage shows [helps] his audience are to adapt to the Jamaican culture: ‘Out of many, one people’.

“Artists include Bro Neville, Frank Sound Folk Singers, Triple J, Fusion Youth Group, Lorna Eccleston, Elaine Forbes, New Testament Drama team, Lerleta Pearson and many more,” she says.

The 50 years of independence is well worth celebrating, adds Latoya, because of the shared history between the Cayman Islands and Jamaica.

“For a neighbour that helped us when we needed it the most to succeed in independence despite the many challenges that may have aroused is definitely worthy of celebration.

“My message to Jamaica would be to continue as a country to strive for excellence. Not only have you been a major player in the Caribbean, your culture is world renowned and that speaks highly of the patriotism that exists within and outside your borders.

“I am proud of my Jamaican heritage because it shows that, even in the face of opposition, a people united will always overcome. Continue to conquer, continue to live in love and unity and I pray to see the day when they have celebrated 100 years,” Latoya says.