Is this a jerk question?

Jamaica is a small island, with a population not all that different from Iowa's. Despite its small size, it punches well above its weight in things like rum, reggae, and delicious Caribbean cooking. I got the chance to enjoy some of those things on a recent vacation there, and my favorite bit of cuisine by far was the delicious jerk chicken. Basically, if I wasn't stuffing fresh seafood down my gullet, I was inhaling jerk chicken by the pound.

Which is why I had to snap this picture on the drive back to the airport:

Look, I get it: Sometimes everyone needs a change of pace from the local specialty. But I didn't see ten restaurants of this size on the entire trip, including a KFC and the Popeye's pictured above. Almost every other place was a small stand with a couple of tables, serving jerk chicken and pork, like this one:

It's as if someone came to Iowa and saw a pork chop stand on every corner -- but all the big restaurants were two-story chain places serving nothing but hot dogs. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with a place like Popeye's...I just don't get how you can get so close to the local specialty and yet end up with something so very different.

Brian Gongol

Brian Gongol

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