Ital food, the Rasta cuisine of Jamaica

Ital food
Ackee dish (without saltfish)

Ital food is Jamaica’s version of vegan dish with a flavorful twist. The Rastafarian tribe is unofficially recognized for formulating the ‘Ital’ way of cooking.

You will be hard-pressed to find a more natural way gourmet method. In many cases, domestically grown vegetables, fruits, and carbs sources are used. Ackee (no saltfish), callaloo, avocado, peppers, tomato, carrot, onion, okra, breadfruit, plantain, green banana, coconut milk, yam (yucca), peas, beans, and pumpkin are the main ingredients in Ital food. Soy flour, vegemince, bulgur, brown rice, tofu, cornmeal, and bragg include imported items that may be utilized. Natural fruit juices pair nicely with Ital food. These beverages are made from fruits that may have grown in the wild such as mangoes, soursop, passionfruit, june plum, and guava.

Even the actual cooking technique depicts a sustainable way of life. In most cases, dried tree branches are gathered and used as fire wood. During cooking, no artificial seasoning or additives are included. The ingredients remain in their natural forms. Coconut milk is important in Ital cooking because this provides natural oil, help adds flavor, and texture to the dish. In more commercial settings such as a cook shop where visitors can buy Ital, some proprietors may also use bragg as a natural substitute for salt. Vegemince and tofu may be used as protein.

Ital food may depicts an appearance of stew. This is, stew peas with other steamed vegetables and chucks of food. There are also bake Ital goodies such as vegetable patties, cornmeal pudding, potato cake, soy cream ( close to ice cream), and coconut munchies.

Rastafarians tend to live a lifestyle that is in harmony with nature. The community is also noted for conscious reggae music and in accordance with their religion praises Haile Selassie I.


Article by: Tiffany Huggins