Grace's Homemade Jerk Banana Ice Cream.

Bright, spicy and flavorful, jerk spice can always bring a Caribbean dish to the next level, from chicken to pork. But some combinations may prove very surprising, even to the most avid jerk spice fans. It’s distinctive flavor, however, makes the mix more versatile than you think, from sweet treats to vegan delectables. We’ve rounded up our favorite surprises combos to up your culinary game.

And check out more amazing jerk dishes this Sunday in South Florida at the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival.


Jerk Ice Cream

Yes, you read right. A little bit of jerk spice adds the perfect kick to this ice cream recipe, which cuts through the fat and counterbalances the sweetness. We love this particular recipe, which combines a bit of jerk spice with a simple but rich vanilla base. A slice of banana makes this scoop the perfect Caribbean sundae, and the best excuse to get your own ice cream maker.

Jerk Turkey

Perhaps nothing seems more all American than a beautifully roasted turkey as the centerpiece of the thanksgiving table. But some Caribbean foodies already know the wonderful ability of jerk spice to perk up a classic turkey recipe. Turkey tends to be a drier, more bland meat that its more popular cousin, chicken, particularly when roasted whole for that perfect thanksgiving picture. Soaking the turkey first in generous amounts of jerk spice marinade will help the turkey retain more moisture and add much-needed heat. Check out this amazing recipe for the perfect turkey upgrade.

Jerk Frittata

Photo: Nicole Hylton Photography 2013

Simple but delicious, a frittata is the perfect quick breakfast/brunch recipe for a small group, because it’s easily adaptable to specific tastes and flavors. We love a pinch of jerk spice in our frittata, which adds heat and pairs nicely with the rich egg mixture. Try this Jerk Fritatta recipe from Chef Irie. Packed with flavor, Chef Irie’s version also includes pumpkin and a hint of smoked turkey.

Vegan Jerk Pulled Jackfruit

Despite all the culinary delights of a vegan lifestyle, sometimes you just have a craving for some jerk meat, and all the fond memories of roadside Caribbean joints that the flavor conjures. This vegan riff on pulled jerk pork hits all our nostalgic notes, by simply swapping the meat with unctuous jackfruit. Stewed properly will some authentic jerk spice, this jerk jackfruit recipe from Rachel Ama will have you coming back for more (and perhaps even tempt your meat-loving foodie friends).

 


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