This Facebook post prompted a flood gate of commentary. And quite rightly so. My comment, included below, was quoted (without attribution) in a Loop.TT article about the ongoing ‘controversy’. I don’t know what ‘controversy’ it could be.
As Gavin Persaud rightly said:
“It’s either Chicken Curry or CURRIED Chicken. And that’s a conversation between Guyanese and Trinidadians because they’re the ones who can cook a proper curry. I’m a Guyanese and I absolutely LOVE Trini food, especially their curry. So I’d gladly respect and entertain the curry banter between the Trinidadians. Jamaicans need not get involved into big people business. Most Jamaicans cook long water curry and season the meat with the curry powder…and that’s not how you do it. Stick to Oxtails and Jerk…ya’ll are the kings/queens of that. But yeah…stay out of this curry business. And by the way, how do you get “rice and peas” when you’re using “RED BEANS” to cook with? Focus on that,”
All my original commentary below:
Jamaican curry is an abomination. I’ve tried it in several cities on both sides of the Atlantic and it is NOT correct.
Not even a speck of geera, no chadon beni, no channa, no pommecythere, no kuchela, no amchar…
Just water and pepper to spite the meat.
My child father is Guyanese, took me to Mr Jerk in SoHo London cause I was desperate for roti, and gave me a Jamaican curry, and after I recovered from the shock of the way it was looking, it proved equally inedible. I should have know then that relationship was doomed. I was young and foolish though.
Jamaicans could run down ya chicken nah, they definitely can’t make curry wid it.
Also don’t trust a Guyanese man giving you Jamaican curry. He’s a propagandist and you will never meet his mother.
My expanded comments:
I still can’t get over the rubbing the curry into the chicken part. That part always leaves me horrified.
You could imagine, I in the US, and some Black US Americans trying to tell me Jamaican curry goat taste good. I tell them, you are yet to have curry goat if a Jamaican made it, and they geh vex wid me. All I could say is, well fish doh know how to fly, and roach doh belong in fowl fete.
I sure they still ent make out what I say, but EVERY TIME they ask me if I want to go to the West Indian restaurant, is a no. I want Mexican.
I know a Jamaican can’t cook for me. I’ve tried. I’ve tried with faith and love so many times, but it just don’t work out. Allyuh either don’t understand seasoning, or don’t get that scotch bonnet and onion is not all the seasoning in the world, or the food is just bland as fuck, or over peppered for viciousness, not flavour…
I love my Jamaican family, but is something that my 90-something old half Jamaican auntie who was refusing food in Jamaica and her Jamaican family and eating like bird when I cooked for her, licked her plate for the first time in a decade and asked for more.
I whispered, “Aunt Marge meh nah vex wid you nah… “
I don’t eat oxtails, but I believe in jerk chicken. They could jerk anything and I good!!! But everything else is suspicious to me. I am a picky ass eater, even in culinary paradises like Trinidad & Barbados etc. Just picky. So believe me when I say, I am not as diplomatic as Gavin when he said in the Loop piece,
“It’s a debate that’s traditionally been between us Guyanese and the Trinidadians. When there are Duck curry competitions, there are Guyanese and Trinis involved. Jamaicans do not sautée or fry as we say, the curry first. They season the chicken with curry, which will most often give it a slight raw or tarty taste. It also prevents us from getting the best and most flavours out of the various spices that curry is made up of. Also, they don’t use any geera and or masala. Guyanese and Trinis cook curry very similarly, and the taste is also similar. Which is why I’m fine with the Trinis saying curry chicken. At least they can cook it properly and it’ll be some good eating,” Gavin explained.
He quickly clarified though that Jamaicans are amazing cooks. “Nobody can touch their Oxtails in my opinion. Here in the US, the southern states have a similar oxtail dish and so do the Haitians, but they’re not as good as the Jamaican way. With respect to Jerk, nobody can’t even be in that conversation, much less make it a debate. They’re also amazing with seafood, and I especially love their escovitch fish, which is absolutely delicious! But not their curry. That’s where they should exit the conversation,” he said.
I am not so charitable. I am a Trinidadian. And me and Jamaican cooking doh agree at all. Gosh, and the curry is just an abomination.