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Jamaica’s Cuisine To Be Featured On Food Network’s “Throwdown With Bobby Flay”, June 17, 2009

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Authentic Jamaican cuisine will take center stage on Food Network’s primetime series “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” on Wednesday, June 17 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. On the episode, Chef Bobby Flay challenges Chef Sheron Chin-Barnes, owner of Harlem’s posh Mo Bay Restaurant, to a traditional Fried Fish Escovitch throwdown. This Jamaican dish is a house specialty of Chef Chin-Barnes. Miss Jamaica World 2007 Yendi Phillips will also be on hand to offer personal insight into the cultural significance of the spicy Jamaican meal.

“Jamaica is known for its delicious cuisine with flavorsome spices, and its recipes have been adapted by countries throughout the world. We are pleased that thousands of Food Network viewers will learn about Jamaican cuisine through this show,” commented John Lynch, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism.

The History of Escovitch

Escovitch is thought have roots from the Spanish escabeche, meaning pickled, when brought to Jamaica in the early 16th century. As one of Jamaica’s oldest dishes, escovitch has always been popular, partly due to the fact that its acidic marinade of vinegar or citrus juice acts as a preservative, allowing it to keep well without being refrigerated. This was especially useful in the times before electricity and on religious days for Christians and Jews when no cooking was done. Escovitch now appears around the world, from Asia to Italy to North Africa, and is usually served as a lightly fried fish, served with onions, carrots, hot peppers and other ingredients in a marinade of vinegar. It is a popular dish to be brought to the beach or on a picnic in Jamaica.

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Written by Staff Writer