St. Bess Jerk Bringing Jamaican Flavors to Burbank

If you’ve ever had Jamaican food, you know how important Jerk is. It’s both a marinade and a method for cooking – but as I discovered at a brand new spot in Southwest suburban Burbank, there are two key ingredients for a proper jerk chicken – Scotch Bonnet peppers and allspice. Jerk was started by a group of African slaves, known as the Maroons, who fled British troops into the mountains of Jamaica, using native plants and spices to marinate their meat, and then indigenous wood from pimento trees, to slowly smoke it. The pimento tree also yields allspice – one of only three spices that come from the New World – and it’s crucial if you take jerk chicken seriously.

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