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Meet the Spice Blend - Caribbean Queen

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Welcome to the next installment of my Meet the Spice Blend series, where I'm sharing the inspiration for, back stories of, and uses for my ever-expanding collection of small batch, handcrafted spice blends. Next up, let's meet Caribbean Queen!!

jerk spice
Caribbean Queen

The Inspiration - Jerk Spice

Caribbean Queen is my California take on the flavors of a jerk spice blend, which originated on the island of Jamaica and is deeply rooted in that island's rich cultural heritage and culinary traditions. Jerk seasoning is believed to have been developed by the Maroons, descendants of enslaved Africans who escaped into the rugged Jamaican mountains during the era of colonialism. Seeking to preserve their African culinary traditions, the Maroons combined locally available ingredients such as allspice berries, scotch bonnet peppers, thyme, garlic, and various aromatic spices to create the unique and fiery jerk spice blend. Traditionally used to marinate and season meat, particularly pork and chicken, jerk seasoning is famous for its distinctive smoky, spicy, and aromatic flavors.

The Flavor Profile - Caribbean Queen

A combination of onion, thyme, allspice, pepper, cinnamon, cayenne, garlic and kosher salt, the flavor profile of Caribbean Queen is a tantalizing fusion of bold, complex, and spicy elements. It is characterized by a harmonious balance of heat, smokiness, and aromatic spices. While the star ingredient in a traditional jerk spice is the fiery scotch bonnet pepper, Caribbean Queen utilizes cayenne pepper for a slightly less intense spice element. The heat is complemented by the earthy and warm flavors of allspice, which lends a subtle sweetness and a hint of clove-like aroma. Other key components like thyme, garlic, and cinnamon contribute to the blend's robust and aromatic nature. The combination of these ingredients creates a depth of flavor that is both savory and slightly sweet, with a distinct smoky undertone. The complex flavor profile of Caribbean Queen makes it versatile enough that it can elevate a wide range of dishes, from grilled meats and seafood to vegetables and even tofu.

Versatility in the Kitchen - How to Use Caribbean Queen

Caribbean Queen can be used to add a burst of flavor to a variety of dishes. Here are some excellent ways to incorporate it into your own culinary creations:

  1. Marinade: Create a delicious marinade by mixing Caribbean Queen with oil, lime juice, soy sauce, and a touch of sweetness like brown sugar or honey. Marinate your choice of meat, such as chicken, pork, or shrimp, for a few hours or overnight to infuse it with the flavors of Caribbean Queen before grilling, baking, or pan-searing.

  2. Rub: Use Caribbean Queen as a dry rub by coating your meat, fish, or tofu with the seasoning. Let it sit for a while to allow the flavors to penetrate the protein before cooking it on the grill, stovetop, or in the oven. The spices in the rub will create a delicious crust and impart a smoky kick to the dish.

  3. Sauce or Glaze: Incorporate Caribbean Queen into a sauce or glaze for a burst of flavor. Combine it with ingredients like ketchup, soy sauce, honey, lime juice, and a touch of vinegar to create a tangy and spicy jerk sauce. Brush the sauce onto grilled meats or use it as a dipping sauce.

  4. Seasoning: Sprinkle Caribbean Queen directly onto vegetables, roasted potatoes, or popcorn for a spicy and aromatic twist. It can also be added to soups, stews, or sauces to infuse them with a Caribbean flair.

  5. Jerk Burgers or Meatballs: Mix Caribbean Queen into ground meat, along with breadcrumbs and other seasonings, to create flavorful jerk burgers or meatballs. These can be grilled, pan-fried, or baked and served with your favorite toppings or sauces.

Please note that Caribbean Queen has very bold and spicy flavors, so be sure to adjust the amount according to your taste preferences and desired level of heat. Enjoy experimenting with different dishes and discovering new ways to incorporate Caribbean Queen into your cooking!

In short, Caribbean Queen is an incredibly versatile spice blend that can elevate nearly any dish. Ready to get your own Caribbean Queen? Get it here.

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