Jamaican jerk spice is a complex hot and spicy seasoning that can be either wet or dry. It is used as a rub to either marinate or season various types of proteins. Jamaican Scotch Bonnet Pepper, its main ingredient, is one of the hottest chili peppers in the world. Other ingredients include allspice, herbs, and a variety of Caribbean spices. Jerk is also a cooking technique applied to many different types of food, mostly proteins, including chicken, pork, goat, beef ribs, fish, shellfish, tofu, and others. Jamaican jerk seasoning and cooking has become very popular in the US and Western Europe.
The process of jerking is similar to barbecuing and is often done over an open flame. In Jamaica, the best jerk food is barbecued in a fire pit underground. Jamaican jerk spice is said to have African roots. Both the spice & technique were perfected by Africans who settled in the town of Boston in the Parish of Portland, Jamaica.