Ever wondered what a typical Jamaican Christmas menu is like? Well you’re in the right spot! Try out some of these Jamaican Christmas recipes to add a bit of Caribbean spice to your kitchen!

It’s no secret that Jamaica is popular for its Reggae music and its beautiful white sand beaches but did you know that Jamaica also boasts delicious cuisine?

Why yes, yes it does!

But here’s a secret, the food tastes even better in the Christmas season! Jamaicans become even more creative in the kitchen as they prepare traditional Christmas meals with ingredients that are often only seasonal to the December period.

If you happen to be visiting Jamaica in the Christmas season you’re in luck! Satisfy your inner foodie by indulging in these delicious traditional Jamaican Christmas food and drinks!

Suggested Read: 6 Jamaican Christmas Traditions You Should Know About

10 Traditional Jamaican Christmas Food and Drinks

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Try these 10 Traditional Jamaican Christmas Food + Drinks! Recipes Included! via www.theswissfreis.com

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Jamaican Christmas Breakfast

Jamaican Ackee & Saltfish

To kick off the Christmas day celebrations the typical breakfast Jamaicans prepare is none other than the national dish, ackee and saltfish. Paired with this dish is typically breadfruit, a local fruit in Jamaica that can be roasted or fried (roast or fry?)

Recommended Cookbook: The Real Taste of Jamaica

Jamaican Christmas Dinner

Jamaican Christmas Ham

A Jamaican Christmas dinner menu wouldn’t be complete without Jamaican Christmas Ham!  Prepared in true Caribbean style this popular meat choice is garnished with pineapples, cherries and cloves.

Recommended Cookbook: Jamaican Cookbook: Traditional Jamaican Recipes Made Easy

Christmas Ham | © Patrick Planter Photography

 Jamaican Meat Dishes

For those persons who prefer to avoid pork, oven baked chicken, curried goat, oxtail and fish (prepared in varying Jamaican methods) are other meat choices you’d typically find on the menu for a Jamaican Christmas dinner.

Recommended Cookbook: Jerk from Jamaica- Barbecue Jamaican Style

jerked chicken
Jerked Chicken © Patrick Planter Photography
curried goat meal
Jamaican Curried Goat © Patrick Planter Photography

Jamaican Gungo Peas & Rice

A typical side order in Jamaica is what is known as rice and peas (rice with red kidney beans). However, during the Christmas season Jamaicans switch it up a bit by cooking this side order with gungo (pigeon) peas instead. Since these peas are seasonal to the December period, it’s the perfect time to include it in any Christmas meal!

Recommended Cookbook: 50 Jamaican Recipe- Taste the Islands Essentials

pigeon peas
Gungo (Pigeon) Peas replaces the typical red kidney beans to make this special Christmas side order. © C.L. Ramjohn

Jamaican Christmas Drinks

Jamaican Sorrel Drink

The most popular Christmas drink in the Christmas season for Jamaicans is what is sorrel. It is an essential staple at any Jamaican Christmas dinner! This flavourful drink’s main ingredient is the Roselle, a type of hibiscus flower indigenous to West Africa but brought to Jamaica in its days of slavery. The drink is made by drying the Roselle and then boiling it with ginger pieces and then. Additional spices can be added to the drink such as Jamaican pimiento. Once the mixture cools, grab a glass of ice and enjoy yourself a refreshing cup of this sorrel drink! Many Jamaicans like to kick this recipe up a notch by adding authentic Jamaican white rum to increase the Christmas merriment. Cool sweeten and serve on ice.

Sorrel Drink Recipe

The Roselle is a type of hibiscus flower and is the main ingredient of the sorrel drink

Egg Punch (Egg Nog)

This creamy delight is one of the staple drinks for the Christmas season and is usually prepared by mothers on Christmas Day. A popular twist to this classic Jamaican Christmas drink is the addition of Guinness Stout.

Egg Nog Recipe

glass of egg nog
Egg Nog is a popular drink for Jamaicans to drink in the Christmas season.

Jamaican Christmas Desserts

Jamaican Fruit Cake

Cake lovers rejoice for you’ll be pleased to know that one of Jamaica’s traditional sweet treats in the Christmas season is fruit cake. Now this isn’t your average fruit cake, but rather, one with Jamaican flare and spices galore! Fruit pieces are soaked in Jamaican rum from as much as a year in advance!  This yummy cake is a flavourful blend of spices and like sorrel Jamaicans love to add Jamaican white rum to increase the flavour. Don’t worry though, we also have non-alcohol fruit cakes as well 😉 Serve this cake up with a nice cold glass of sorrel and you’re well on your way to enjoying a real Jamaican Christmas!

Jamaican Fruit Cake Recipe

Fruit cake
Jamaicans bake a special fruit cake (popularly called Christmas cake) which often includes Jamaican rum.

Citrus Fruits

December is the month for all things citrus in Jamaica so it’s no wonder these fruits are popular in the Christmas season. You’ll be able to buy oranges, mandarins and even a special fruit Jamaicans call “Mangerine” as it’s a biological mix between mandarins and tangerines.

Citrus fruits like, tangerines are popular fruits to see in Jamaica in the Christmas season.

Have you ever tried any of these traditional Jamaican food & drinks? Which would you love to try?

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Try these 10 Traditional Christmas Jamaican Food + Drinks! It even includes recipes! via www.theswissfreis.com

Traditional Jamaican Cookbooks

  1. The Real Taste of Jamaica
  2. Jamaican Cookbook : Traditional Jamaican Recipes Made Easy
  3. Jerk from Jamaica: Barbecue Caribbean Style
  4. 50 Favorite Jamaican Recipes: Taste the Islands Essentials
  5. Ziggy Marley and Family Cookbook: Delicious Meals Made With Whole, Organic Ingredients from the Marley Kitchen

 A Local’s Guide to Jamaica Travel Series

  1. Lime Cay Beach | Kingston, Jamaica
  2. Jakes Resort | Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth
  3. Great Huts Resort | Boston Bay, Portland 
  4. Fort Charles |  Port Royal, Kingston

Book Your Perfect Stay in Jamaica at an Affordable Price