Jerk cuisine is a way to season and grill, BBQ, smoke, bake, slow cook, or pressure cook meat, seafood, vegetables, jackfruit or tofu. It has roots in Peru, Africa, and Jamaica, and is now popular not only throughout the Caribbean, but now has a global presence as well. There are probably as many different recipes for jerk sauces and marinades as there are recipes for hot sauces and barbecue sauces in the United States. Most jerk sauce and marinade recipes contain many Caribbean ingredients such as Scotch Bonnet or habanero peppers, pimento seeds (allspice) and exotic Caribbean spices.
The word jerk started as a noun and then became a verb as in "Jerking" which involved poking holes in the meat, seafood, vegetables, jackfruit or tofu so the ingredients and spices could permeate the foods. Jamaican historians say the name Jerk also may have come from immersing the meat, seafood, vegetables, jackfruit or tofu in the marinade, or from the way the old-timers would jerk a piece of meat from a roast being smoked and grilled.
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