Herbs and spices are the basis of the seasonings and condiments that complement and enhance our food in the kitchen or at the table. Spices are grown all over the world, and can truly change the taste of foods. The subtle aroma of herbs, whether fresh or dried, develops a distinctive but delicate flavour in food
Scotch bonnet peppers, closely related to habanero peppers, are perhaps the most widely used in the Caribbean and are , for many the defining flavour of Caribbean cooking. They come in a variety of colours (green, yellow, orange, and white; the white ones are very rear) and are extremely hot.
Baking soda is a chemical, sodium bicarbonate, also known as bicarbonate of soda or NaHCO3. It reacts with acid to produce carbon dioxide gas; this reaction is the reason for its usefulness in baking as a leavening agent.
Brown sugar is a soft sugar whose crystals are covered by a film of refined molasses. Light brown sugar and dark brown sugar vary in their amounts of molasses - therefore, dark brown sugar has a deeper molasses taste than light brown.
There are many varieties of yam grown in Jamaica. Most people confuse the Lucea yam with the Negro yam; they are not the same. The flesh of the Lucea yam is smother while the flesh of the Negro yam is coarser.
There are up to 18 different varieties of yam are cultivated in Jamaica, and they all have a unique taste, flavour and texture. Some are dry, some waxy, some soft, and some sweet. Yams, whose name comes from the Senegalese 'nyami' meaning to eat, were another important crop because they provided the crucial vitamin C that enabled sailors to battle the dreaded scurvy. It is said that yams came to Jamaica from Africa in a Portuguese slave ship.