When someone says the word ‘Jamaica’, certain images come to mind. Warm sunshine. White, sandy beaches. Delicious, fruity cocktails. One word that might not mesh with your usual vision of Jamaica is: yam. However, every April, the yam takes centre stage during the Trelawny Yam Festival.
The Trelawny Yam Festival takes places every April in the main square of Albert Town (it was relocated for two years, but us now back in Albert Town). Why is there a yam festival in Jamaica? The yam is actually one of the most popular foods in Jamaica. It is used in many of their traditional dishes and soups. Some statistics claim that dishes with yams are even more popular in Jamaica than jerk chicken. In the south Trelawny area of Jamaica, the yam is a huge part of the livelihood and economy – many people grow, sell and cook with yams. The importance of the yam to this area’s economy is what sparked the idea for this festival. It was originally a way to raise money for local farmers and support the local community. In its first six years, the Trelawny Yam Festival took place inside Trelawny High School. As more and more people flocked to the festival, the high school could no longer contain them, and so the festival was moved onto the streets of Albert Town. By 2004, a record 18,000 people attended the Trelawny Yam Festival. All those people were there to celebrate the humble and delicious yam. This year, the festival will celebrate its 15th birthday.
The festival has activities and contests for visitors of all ages, as well as enticing dishes to taste. There are cooking competitions to see who can use yams in the most creative manner, and the competitors range from home cooks, to culinary students, to professional chefs. There will be much more than just yam fries at this competition. Past yam culinary creations include yam wine, yam puddings, yam punch and anything else you can imagine. If you can cook it, you can cook it with yams.
If you happen to be in Jamaica in April, be sure to stop my Albert Town for some island hospitality, excellent festivities and, most importantly, delicious yams.
Making instant ramen noodles at home isn't overly exciting, but visit the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum in Osaka, Japan and making them will take on a whole different experience. Here, you get to become a part of the instant ramen noodle-making process, right from scratch. Sound interesting? Well here you are your own cook, designing your new favourite noodle and experimenting with various flavors. The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum houses a wide collection of the instant ramen sold over the ages. From the packaging materials to the types of instant ramen noodles, everything is on display. Though the ...
As the door slammed shut, a wave of claustrophobia enveloped the thirty-two people crammed into a dingy cell at the Elmina Castle on the Ghanaian Gold Coast. The cells here are no bigger than an average closet, and the only light which can be seen from the inside is a small square of light at the door. Everything inside the cell was black and quiet except for the breathing of those people around me. A few moments later, the door swung open and my lungs breathed in fresh air with relief. The staggering moment came when our tour guide informed ...364 miles away.
Experienced this and have something to share? Experienced something like this somewhere else? Looking for advise or travel companions? Use this space to leave your mark. Our writers and editors are more than happy to help answer your questions.
People who wish to experience
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."