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Jackfish and Breadfruit: The Signature Dish of St. Vincent and the Grenadines
If and when you visit St. Vincent and the Grenadines, be sure to try the national dish—jackfish and breadfruit.
From Jamaica to St. Lucia, breadfruit is popular across the Caribbean. In St. Vincent, breadfruit has been symbolic since the slavery era. Back then, it was a cheap source of food for the enslaved.
According to SVG Tourism Authority, “Many breadfruit trees were planted, and it quickly became a staple crop even after emancipation. St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is now home to over 25 different varieties of breadfruit.”
If you happen to be in town in August, check out The Breadfruit Festival, which goes on all month long.
SVG Tourism Authority notes, “It takes place in various communities in the North Leeward part of St. Vincent. A variety of dishes made from breadfruit are sold and accompanied by cultural activities.”
No matter how you prepare it, breadfruit is an excellent side for meat, vegetables, and seafood. It can even be enjoyed by itself. Across St. Vincent, it’s usually roasted, then put in an oven until soft.
How Is Jackfish and Breadfruit Prepared?
You can feast on jackfish and breadfruit whenever you choose, but it’s commonly eaten at lunch. As with all Caribbean dishes, expect a pleasant explosion of flavor.
There may be slight variation, depending on what’s available and who is cooking. However, the main ingredients include one large breadfruit, one pound of jackfish, lemon or lime juice, onions, chives, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, flour for coating, oil, and tomato.
While roasting the breadfruit on an open charcoal or a wood fire, you’ll have to rotate it now and again. One way to make sure it’s roasted properly is to stick a skewer through it. If the skewer has nothing on it when you pull it out, the breadfruit is ready to be cut and eaten.
Next, wash and season the jackfish.
Caribbean Entertainment Magazine recommends pouring lemon or lime juice on the fish. Leave it to marinate for 15-20 minutes, or longer if desired.
Gradually, you’ll add seasoning, coat the fish with flour and fry the fish for a few minutes on each side. Set it on the plate with the breadfruit, grab an ice-cold beer, and enjoy.