As you may know, I have been around for quite some time in the food business - in particular the Caribbean food market, since the early seventies to be exact.
All of my products are carefully developed in such a way as to satisfy the nationality that uses it on a regular basis.
The word “Jerk” weather it be Chicken, Goat, Pork and other related meat products is synonymous with Jamaica.
Jerk seasoning has been known to me since the days of knowing how to clean up the Cow Foot.
You may have read The Cow Foot Story which shows the extent to which I endeavored to satisfy this particular customer.
COW FOOT STORY BOOK
This story gives a taste of the very beginning of my journey towards understanding the multicultural society of Canada.
Since then, I have become a hero within the Caribbean Culture and now my customers ask me for other things like curry.
Curry is a subject all by itself.
Since my customers from many parts of the world, over the years have asked me for one item or another, I am willing to take the responsibility to obtain it for them.
To do that, the first thing I had to do was to personally understand the subject.
I asked some of my customers when they were going to make some jerk chicken at their homes for me to taste their creation.
My request was not ignored and I was invited to some of them.
I have to admit that my first introduction to jerk chicken gave me such a shock that I hit the ceiling.
It was a taste that I had never experienced in my life before.
A female housewife asked me: “Mr. Goudas do you like it?”
I was planning to give an answer immediately.
Instead of yes or no, I asked her for an extinguisher as I was trying desperately to put my eyes back into their sockets while my tongue went in and out like a thirsty dog.
The lady asked me the same question again.
I said to her: “Let me give it another bite”.
The meal finally ended and I finally regained my senses.
After that experience, I made several visits to different homes to sample their version of the Jerk chicken.
My final decision was: not the heat that I had to worry about in making the product, but the combination of the ingredients.
This is true especially for the flavour, because heat is a different subject all together.
I have said in one of my books that Caribbean is a group of Islands that each of them have their individual eating habits.
The request for Jerk seasoning came only from the Jamaican Culture.
The history displayed in Wikipedia where the Spanish term of Charqui or Quechua (which are Spanish words) are mentioned have no connection to the jerk seasoning.
The History of the Jerk that came up from Africa through Slavery to the Caribbean may also be wrong.
In my theory since no one knows what happened five hundred years ago, if Wikipedia was correct, then every Island would know and utilize the jerk seasoning.
Only Jamaica uses the term jerk seasoning or jerk in cooking.
To verify the accuracy of what I am saying, give a jerk sauce in any cooking format to a Spanish person from Spain (not Spanish speaking person in Latin America) and you would notice they know absolutely nothing about jerk.
So now, I had the task in front of me.
I ordered some bottles and tried to duplicate them, but there was a different flavour in each sample.
I gave samples to my customers to give me their opinion.
After their attempts at the use of the samples, I got negative feedback.
I noticed that within the list of ingredients they had various fillers for instance cho cho or yam,
included jalapeno peppers, ginger root, turmeric, tomato sauce, etc., etc.,
The existing products cannot be duplicated.
I asked an older, woman, friend of mine who had mentioned to me that she always made her own jerk seasoning at home, to make a batch for me.
She obliged and I gave it to my customers to try.
The results and feedback was positive and I have created the product with the following ingredients: Onions, Escallion, Thyme, Scotch bonnet Pepper, Garlic, Salt, Sugar, Paprika, Nutmeg, Allspice.
I found out that any other combination of ingredients would make the Jerk seasoning taste different.
I didn’t say bad, but different!
The Scotch Bonnet Pepper is by Mother Nature a hot pepper, therefore I have added just enough to prevent you from hitting the ceiling.
I realize the people who will use this can make and add their own pepper sauce.
The nutmeg, although innocent looking, when used in excess will throw off the balance of the taste; the same applies to the allspice.
The fresh thyme is very important.
If jerk seasoning were meant to be for Trinidadians, I would have to eliminate the thyme and incorporate the cumin.
What I am trying to tell you is that the product it self is a Jamaican Original.
No ifs, buts, or maybes.
I will not say I made the first Jamaican Jerk Seasoning in the world, but I can say that I make one of the best - next to some popular brands.
Well now that I have convinced you to get a bottle of Mr. Goudas Jerk seasoning, what are you going to do about it?.
There are many ways to cook various things.
You can apply jerk seasoning to any meat such as pork, chicken, lamb or goat and any fish including shellfish.
The website has endless recipes for the application of jerk seasoning.
If you are a Jamaican I do not have to tell you what to do with the jerk seasoning.
In fact, maybe you can teach me a trick or two.
However, one bit of advice that I may give you.
If you invite someone to your house that is not from Jamaica or the Caribbean: avoid overloading him or her with the excess heat.
Then you may attract their curiosity.
Spyros Peter Goudas