Island Breeze Jamaican & American BBQ opened less than two weeks ago at 1991 Brownsboro Road (502-216-6498), which some readers will recall as one of two defunct Fry Daddy’s locations (the other was at 5905 Terry Road in the South End).
Owner Shyamala Mothersill is shown above with her menu (photos by John Carlos White). On-line reviews have been favorable. Hours of operation have yet to be officially posted, although zooming in on the photo of the exterior suggests approximately 11 a.m. to 9 or 10 p.m., Wednesday through Monday (closed Tuesday).
Consequently, let’s learn Jamaican (cuisine), courtesy of the Caribbean nation’s tourist office.
The richest Jamaican cultural history lesson is in the food Jamaicans eat. To conceal their whereabouts, the Maroons devised “jerking”, a method of spicing and cooking pork underground so that smoke would not be seen. Today, jerk pork, jerk chicken and jerk fish are everywhere. To feed slaves cheaply in the 1700s, the breadfruit was brought from Africa, as were a variety of roots, vegetables and fruit. To preserve meat and fish, spices and pepper were added and unique seasonings, like our famous Pickapeppa sauce, were devised. Cassava, a root tuber, was cultivated by the Tainos and is still used today to make “bammies”, a flat toasted wafer eaten with fried fish. Another traditional bread, “festival”, is frequently served with jerk. Jamaican’s favourite dish is the gently spiced ackee and saltfish.
Indian and Chinese influences have made curries and chow meins part of the national menu. Mangoes and pineapples, papayas and bananas abound and Otaheite apples and soursop combine in desserts like “matrimony”, a fruit salad bound with condensed milk.
Jamaica is also home to some of the most celebrated rums and exotic blends, including the award-winning Tia Maria coffee liqueur. Blue Mountain coffee, Jamaica’s own, is considered one of the finest in the world.