December’s pick for our “Around the World in 12 Dishes” series is Jamaica!!
Jamaica is a mountainous island that is located in the Caribbean (show your kids the difference between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea!). Christopher Columbus landed in Jamaica in 1494 and claimed it for Spain, but in the 1600’s it was taken over by Great Britain. In the late 1600’s there were more African slaves than British. Jamaica was one of the world’s leading sugar-producers, and relied on slaves to harvest the sugar cane. In the early 1800’s slavery was abolished, but blacks continued to outnumber whites on the island.
If you look at the map, how far is Jamaica to the equator? Is it within the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn? What does its location tell you about its climate?
If you’d like to learn more about Jamaica, National Geographic for Kids has a great unit all about Jamaica. Also, Jamaican music is popular around the world! Learn about reggae for kids and listen to some songs here. Cricket is the most popular sport, followed by track and field, soccer, boxing, and rugby.
Jamaican candied sweet potatoes
To explore Jamaican cuisine, we looked to an excellent web site called “Cook Like a Jamaican.” I had seen her recipes all over pinterest, and knew I wanted to try Jamaican candied sweet potatoes. Anthropologists believe the sweet potato originated in Central America or South America thousands of years ago! We made some delicious Jamaican candied sweet potatoes by simply roasting the sliced sweet potatoes, and then topping them with a butter, brown sugar, cinnamon glaze. They were SO GOOD!!!! I think it would be hard to find a kid who didn’t like these candied yams- so sweet, so tasty.
You can find the official recipe for Jamaican Candied Sweet Potatoes here. My kids helped to make them by peeling the potatoes, arranging the slices, and then helping make the glaze. These are so, so yummy!!! We ate them as a dessert because they were so sweet, but surely you could add them to a meal (even for the pickiest of kids!).
This is the 10th month in the new season of “Around the World in 12 Dishes.” This year we have chosen the following countries:
March – Ireland
April – France
May – Finland
June – Spain
July – Kenya
August – Egypt
September – New Zealand
October – Korea
November – Thailand
December – Jamaica
January – Peru
February – Canada
We are inviting our readers to participate in our culinary adventure!