Doggone it! Respect due to turn cornmeal
Jamaica’s ‘shameful’ culinary secret comes to light in delicious new ways
“Old habits die hard.
Take the case of my friend Paulette who now lives in New York City. Ever since she has known herself, Paulette understands that turn cornmeal goes to the dogs. Her grandmother did it, her mother did it and no amount of persuading can convince her otherwise.
Even now that she has discovered that in Italy the lowly (in Jamaican culture) turn cornmeal is called Polenta and is sometimes dressed up as gourmet fare, Paulette will have none of it.
While turn cornmeal still has its doggone reputation, it’s no longer shameful to confess to digging into a plate of cornmeal with saltfish (cod) and okra. Late last year, in an interview on a Jamaican radio station, popular dancehall artiste Beenie Man waxed poetic about turn cornmeal. And he’s not the only one.
A few Jamaican restaurants even serve up dishes of the stuff – and they don’t call it polenta (Italian for turn cornmeal) either.”
- Excerpt from Spring/Summer 2008 JamaicanEats magazine
In its latest issue, JamaicanEats magazine sinks its teeth into turn cornmeal dishes too scrumptious to even think about feeding to the pooches.
This dish – made of yellow cornmeal, cooked with cod fish and okra – has been snubbed by posh (and not so posh) society in Jamaica, endured snickers, and given the brush-off as dog food.
But no more! We think respect is due to the humble dish.
In the pages of our current issue, turn cornmeal simmers in coconut milk and is made even more mouthwatering with fresh herbs and spices, cheeses, meats and vegetables. Our wine expert Chris Reckord has even paired turn cornmeal with fine Italian wines.
The spring/summer 2008 issue of JamaicanEats magazine also features a sinfully decadent Yellow Yam Au Gratin and other yellow yam dishes from some of the island’s resort chefs.
JamaicanEats magazine was launched in the summer of 2006 and has printed five issues to date. It is Jamaica’s first international food magazine and is sold in leading bookstores such as Barnes and Nobel, Borders and Books-A-Million in the U.S. and Chapters bookstore in Canada. It is also sold in Jamaica, Trinidad, and the United Kingdom/Europe and has subscribers from around the world.
In previous issues we’ve exposed the “hijacking” of jerk and carried a bellyful of recipes, how-to tips, and lifestyle stories about Jamaican food, culture and personalities. Each issue shows readers how to make traditional Jamaican dishes, such as dumplings that won’t stone “dawg”. We also dish the dirt on celebrities and personalities like (in our debut issue – Summer/Fall 2006) London-born Ainsley Harriott who reminisces about his mama’s stew peas and rice; Martin Maginley, Executive Chef of Grand Lido Negril, who provides a new twist to Jamaican food; and popular dancehall musicians such as Capelton and Chuck Fenda who give readers a taste of how they stick to their vegetarian lifestyle on the road.
Each issue of this full-colour magazine, printed three times a year, also includes the flavours of other Caribbean islands with everything from Trini street food to Bajan (Barbados) flying fish.
Still, JamaicanEats isn’t just for Jamaican and Caribbean people. This magazine is for people who’ve been to the islands, those interested in things Caribbean, and foodies everywhere.
Comments from readers about Jamaican Eats magazine:
This has got to be THE most beautiful magazine about any type of cooking/food I’ve ever seen. … I’m not a cook, don’t like to cook at all. I AM going to actually give 2 recipes a try! That’s enormous for me, but I can’t help it because the pictures of the food make a person want to lick the pages!
-Kaye Townsend, Kansas
Thank you for creating such a high calibre magazine. Your photography is stunning, and warm. It was a no brainer to get a subscription.
Chris Daley, Maryland
My 2 ½-year-old son tried to eat the page with the sweet potato pie.
Christine Morris, Kingston
For interviews and more information: Contact Editor-in-Chief Grace Cameron
Tel: (876) 922-5296 (Jamaica); (786) 623-0534 (U.S.); (604) 484-1389 (Canada)
OR: Latoya Byfield, Circulation Manager, New York, 646-528-5531
Web site: www.jamaicaneats.com
Mailing address: P.O. Box 1875, Constant Spring,
Recipes and excerpts from the magazine can be used, with permission from the editor with appropriate credit. We would also be happy to provide other recipes as well as high quality digital photographs for use in your publication.