An order of jerk pork at J & J Jamaican Grocery in Damariscotta. For $18, a huge to-go container is crammed to the brim with the principal dish and 3 sides: Sauteed veggies, rice with peas, and fried plantains. (Evan Houk photo)

J & J Jamaican Grocery and Gift Store delivers an authentic road food stuff knowledge on Saturdays and Sundays in the heart of downtown Damariscotta.

“It’s reliable,” explained Randal Souviney, 74, of San Diego, Calif., who was visiting loved ones and stopped to seize a chunk on Sunday, Oct. 17. “It adds to the palate of the city.”

Souviney grew up in Dresden and applied to perform in a band termed the Skavengers at the Merry Barn in Edgecomb when he was young. He said his fellow band mates would also have savored the authentic Jamaican foods.

Situated at 88 Principal St., the grocery retail outlet set up an outdoor deck for folks to sit and eat. The deck is painted in bright pink, yellow, and environmentally friendly hues. About 10 to 15 persons came by means of on Sunday afternoon to seize some meals during the 45 minutes or so I was there.

The menu for Sunday involved jerk chicken, jerk pork, curried chicken, brown stewed fish, and purple pea soup with corn and rooster. Every single food came with a facet of rice and peas, sautéed vegetables, and ripe fried plantains.

When I ordered jerk hen on Sunday, co-operator Peter Ebanks created the stroll to the smoker to accumulate the hen and described the record of jerk cooking alongside the way.

Ebanks claimed that the regular jerk seasoning and cooking approach originated in Jamaica in the 17th century when runaway slaves would capture wild pigs and then bury them in the ground with sizzling coal and rocks to prepare dinner along with the jerk spices.

This was finished, he claimed, to conceal the smoke so as not to alert the authorities or plantation proprietors to the slaves’ whereabouts.

Peter Ebanks, co-owner of J & J Jamaican Grocery and Gift Shop in Damariscotta, talks to a customer while frying plantains and filling orders on Oct. 17. On Saturdays and Sundays, the store offers smoked jerk chicken and pork that comes with sauteed vegetables, fried plantains, and rice and peas. (Evan Houk photo)

Peter Ebanks, co-owner of J & J Jamaican Grocery and Gift Store in Damariscotta, talks to a shopper whilst frying plantains and filling orders on Oct. 17. On Saturdays and Sundays, the shop features smoked jerk chicken and pork that will come with sauteed greens, fried plantains, and rice and peas. (Evan Houk photo)

The main elements of the jerk marinade are allspice, thyme, and Scotch Bonnet peppers, which present a spicy kick to the dish.

Ebanks claimed he cooks the hen for about a few hours at a temperature concerning 100 and 150 degrees. He keeps the rooster in a tin foil pan inside of the smoker so it does not dry out. The pork is cooked for about 6 hours.

The 2,000-pound smoker has the potential to prepare dinner up to 100 pieces of hen at just one time, which Ebanks has done.

The jerk hen was deliciously juicy and the meat and the pores and skin fell appropriate off the bone with no energy. The jerk seasoning is a minor spicy, which I relished. It experienced just the appropriate sum of heat to distinct out the sinuses and generate a pleasurable tingle in the mouth.

If a single is delicate to spicy foodstuff, the red pea soup may be a better alternative.

For $18, any food is a reasonably very good offer because the portions are monumental and each individual buy will come with all 3 sides. Ebanks mainly loaded a large to-go container to the brim with all the tasty food items.

I was capable to make my leftovers final for two much more filling meals more than two times.

Peter Ebanks removes jerk chicken from his smoker in the back of the parking lot behind 88 Main St. He keeps the jerk chicken in a tin foil pan to retain the juices of the chicken so it doesn't dry out. (Evan Houk photo)

Peter Ebanks gets rid of jerk rooster from his smoker in the back again of the parking lot at the rear of 88 Major St. He keeps the jerk chicken in a tin foil pan to retain the juices of the rooster so it doesn’t dry out. (Evan Houk photograph)

All this meals is washed down nicely with a uniquely flavored Ting, the refreshing Jamaican grapefruit soda that is available in the grocery retailer.

I tried fried plantains for the first time, which I believed I would like. There was something about the crispy exterior and mushy inside that did not really jive with my style buds or mouth-come to feel while.

When I reheated the plantains on my forged iron pan at house, nevertheless, the mushiness kind of disappeared and I truly loved the stunning sweetness inside the fried exterior.

The side of veggies features inexperienced beans, carrots, cabbage, onions, scallions, and garlic. Ebanks reported that since of the soil in Jamaica, scallions that are developed there have a one of a kind taste.

Ebanks reported that J & J Jamaican Grocery and Present Shop was initially only going to promote grocery merchandise, not completely ready-to-eat food. Having said that, right after a number of requests for prepared foodstuff, he determined to seek acceptance from the town for his smoker.

The smoker experienced to be moved from the deck to the back of the parking ton for the reason that of hearth code violations right after it was initially authorized by the Damariscotta Scheduling Board, in accordance to Damariscotta’s previous Code Enforcement Officer Stanley Waltz.

The shop has been fast paced considering the fact that firing up the smoker in late August, specially through the initially weekend of Damariscotta Pumpkinfest, Oct. 8-10, which had Ebanks smoking cigarettes meat pretty much non-halt to maintain up with need.

For much more data, connect with 563-6652 or visit J & J Jamaican Grocery and Gift Shop’s Facebook page.

By Taba