jamaican food in los angeles

Like many other common Jamaican stereotypes, our food is not immune to constant generalization and superfluous perceptions. We have heard it all, “Is Jamaican food only Jerk Chicken?” “Jamaican food is too spicy!” “It is unhealthy!” “Too many carbs!” and so much more.

However, these couldn’t be farther from the truth and today we’re here to put all these stereotypes to bed and educate you on how awesome and versatile Jamaican food can be. These are the most common misconceptions:

jamaican food in los angeles
Jerk Chicken via JamaFo’s Kitchen

“Jamaican food is spicy”

“Wow, Jerk Chicken, that’s way too spicy!” We’ve heard this many times and while true in some regard, just like any other meal, you can control the spice level to suit any palate.

At JamaFo our Jerk Chicken is mildly spicy to accommodate our diverse clientele. Plus, we also add in some oven-toasted Pineapples to complement each bite, so you get a bit of a spicy tingle mellowed with a calming sweet taste.

So to debunk this common misconception, Jerk chicken can be as spicy or as mild as you want it to. There is no rule book that says otherwise.

“Jamaican food is unhealthy”

Ah yea, this is another one that fails to recognize Jamaica’s largely diverse agricultural makeup.

Some of the most popular Jamaican dishes are Coconut Rice & Peas, ground provisions like Yellow Yam and Cassava or desserts like Sweet Potato Pudding and Coconut Drops, all loaded with starch, carbs and, plenty of sugar. So we understand why our food might be considered “unhealthy,” however, when you take a look at the Jamaican food spectrum, you are in for a surprise.

Jamaica’s tropical climate is home to hundreds of farm grown fruits, vegetables, wild caught seafood, and healthy grass-fed animals. In many cases, provisions are picked straight from the source and sold directly to customers in farmer’s markets like Coronation Market in the capital Kingston on a daily basis.

Jamaican foodpreneurs in the diaspora, like JamaFo, do our utmost best to stick to this healthy, earth-friendly and sustainable eco-system as much as possible despite the restraints living in a foreign land. Annually, we visit Jamaica to meet local farmers, distributors and, chefs to ensure we’re always providing our customers the best.

jamaican food in los angeles
Jamaican Patties

“Jamaican food is too exotic”

Another big misconception. Yes, we know most tropical foods have a certain flare that you won’t find in American or European offerings. However, Jamaican food is one of the most down to earth cuisines you’ll ever experience.

We love using what the earth provides to cook our food, from the wood that produces the fire to the ground provisions we serve up with some Ackee & Saltfish (our national dish).

You will never feel too “high-society” eating Jamaican food, on the contrary, you will get the real “yaad girl” and “yaad boy” experience the locals do.

“Jamaican food is not vegan-friendly”

Just take a look at our menu and this misconception will go right out the window. Jamaican food is actually more than 50% vegan/vegetarian.

While we use a lot of meats in our Jerk dishes, curries and soups, the amount of vegetables and earth grown products we use far outnumber meats.

Cabbage, callaloo, green banana, ripe plantains, cauliflower, rice, red peas, gungo peas, broad beans, herbs (scallion, meringue, rosemary, thyme, etc.), fruits (star apple, naseberry, mango, otaheite apple, custard, guinep, june plum, guava, etc.), and the list could go on forever.

There is no shortage of vegan-friendly options in a Jamaican meal and at JamaFo we offer options like our Island Tossed Salad, Coconut Rice & Peas, Jerk Tofu, Curried Tofu, Vegetable Patties and much more to satisfy your meat-free palate.

jamaican food in los angeles
Grilled Vegetable Skewers via JamaFo’s Kitchen

“Jamaican food is hard to find”

We get it, Los Angeles is no New York or Miami when it comes to Jamaican food eateries. You might find a cluster in the South Central LA area, but that’s about it.

If you want some real Jamaican food and live in areas like DTLA, Hollywood, Santa Monica, the San Fernando Valley and even Orange County, then you are out of options. Or so you might think!

JamaFo delivers drop-off catering from our kitchen in Northridge, California to hundreds of different communities in and around Los Angeles. We deliver to Twitch offices in Irvine on the regular, so trust us when we say your office or home in Chino or Long Beach is not too far.

There are many misconceptions about Jamaican food in Los Angeles, we only mentioned a few here, but guess what. The only way to debunk these myths and stereotypes for good is to try it yourself, and we’re happy to help.

JamaFo | Jamaican Food offers Corporate and Residential catering in and around Los Angeles, contact us today.