An all-inclusive, eco-friendly culinary experience
Carl Gilchrist Gleaner Hospitality Jamaica Writer
Lascells and Elizabeth Broderick have developed and launched a tour aimed at highlighting some of St Ann’s natural offerings and are pleased with the response, so far, from tour operators and guests. Described as an all-inclusive eco-friendly culinary experience, The Taste of Jamaica Authentic Tour offers eco sightseeing, beach cooking, real Jamaican food, and music. And you can add dance lessons for the fun of it.
The tour begins in Ocho Rios and ends on a beachside property in Priory. In between, the tour takes you on a journey through Fern Gully, where craft vendors display their wares – you see the wide variety of Jamaican ferns that gave the gully its name – through the community of Colegate and on to Golden Grove, where if you’re lucky, you will catch the children at play during break time at the local primary school. Moving on to Claremont, the rustic country setting, green hills and valley, houses perched on hillsides, farmers in their field, Jamaicans playing dominoes at roadside shops, all go together to make the experience uniquely Jamaican. All throughout the tour, the knowledgeable driver will keep you informed and educate you about things Jamaican. After Claremont, you make a stop at a coffee plantation in Higgin Town then pass by Liberty Hill Great House in Lime Hall and Marcus Garvey’s former home in St Ann’s Bay before moving on to a beachside property for the other side of the experience. Here, you sample a wide range of in-season Jamaican fruits, try your hand at jerking chicken, then have it and taste Jamaica’s national dish, ackee and saltfish. Be entertained by recorded reggae music and an African themed dance group that is more than happy to teach you dance moves to match every Jamaican beat from ska to rocksteady to reggae and dancehall. And there’s more. Broderick said the grand finale at the beachfront will see guests being served a typical Jamaican lunch that includes ground provisions such as yam and potato, along with ackee and salt fish and jerked chicken.
“We also have a live entertainment section where the guests learn to do the Jamaican dancehall dances,” she said. “Guests who have been on the tour just love the dancing. They love learning how to jerk and love eating the jerked chicken. They love Jamaican fruits. They love the Jamaican countryside, especially the coffee plantation.” Several tour representatives who have been on the course have given the new tour the thumbs up.
According to Moon Palace’s vacation planner sales supervisor Nickesha Clarke, “I would say it’s really Jamaican. It’s cultural and different. It more tells you about what we grow in Jamaica and what you see when you’re off the main thoroughfare. It’s a good tour.” Georgia Black, vacation planner, also of Moon Palace, said at first that she thought the Taste of Jamaica tour was all about food but said after the tour: “I got a taste of Jamaica on a different side as it relates to tasting the richness of our culture. I got to learn a whole lot of stuff. For persons coming from the outside wanting to know more about Jamaica, nothing was watered down. This is the perfect tour. I love it! I love it!” Britney Campbell of Amstar DMC Jamaica was impressed with the educational value of the tour. “It was very good, very educational and informative about island Jamaica. It’s a good tour to learn more about Jamaica,” she said. Visit taste www.tasteofjamaicatours.com for more information.
Shanna Gay from Grand Bahía Príncipe about to sample the Jamaican food provided by Taste of Jamaica Tour.
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