Updated: Feb 26, 2019
There are plenty of reasons to visit Jamaica, and shopping is certainly one of them. The Land of Wood and Water is known for its unique culture that can be found nowhere else. From the world-renowned Blue Mountain Coffee to the interesting wood carvings, Jamaicans take pride in blessing the world with items that represent their culture. Here are some of the finest products to take home with you to remind you of your visit to this Caribbean island.
Blue Mountain Coffee
The Blue Mountain Coffee in Jamaica is considered the world’s best and one of the most expensive in the world. Its richness and lack of bitterness make it a commodity that people fly to the island to experience. The coffee is grown and harvested in a legally designated growing region in the Blue Mountain region of Jamaica. The Blue Mountains are located between the south of Kingston and the north of Port Antonio and the mountains are some of the highest in the Caribbean. Blue Mountain Coffee is sold in almost all coffee shops and cafés across the island.
One of the cutest gifts one can find in Jamaica are handmade Jamaican stuffed dolls. These dolls are usually found at any craft shop or craft market on the island. The dolls are soft (stuffed with sponge or other soft material) or plastic, and typically are dressed in Jamaican branded clothing or the bandana clothing made of plaid material which is a symbol of Jamaican heritage. You can also find Jamaican-patois speaking dolls that utter the most popular Jamaica-patois phrases.
Wood carvings in Jamaica are some of the most exquisite, creative and detailed art and craft items sold on the island. Quality wood carvings are typically made out of heavy wood like the Jamaican national wood –the lignum vitae, cedar, mahogany, or dogwood. The items are usually carved into items representative of Jamaican culture such as animals, rasta symbols and influential people. The hand-carved wooden sculptures make ideal decorative items for homes and gardens. They can be found in craft markets in Kingston, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay.
Wray & Nephew White Rum
J Wray and Nephew is a renowned overproof rum produced in Kingston, Jamaica weighing in at 126 proof (63% alcohol content). Wray and Nephew, as it's known behind bars, is not only a very popular spirit in Jamaica, but is also the top-selling high-strength rum in the world. Jamaican White Overproof Rum has the reputation of being the finest in the world and is a part of everyday life on the island. The white rum is dry, light-bodied, clear-coloured and slightly sweet in taste. It is made from the by-product of sugar cane grown on the island. Jamaican White Rum is a perfect choice for mixed drinks and cocktails because of its plain and delicate flavour. You can find a flask in the homes of many Jamaicans, as well as in bars or restaurants, and of course in the bags of tourists returning home!
Jamaican oil paintings
Jamaica is home to some of the best oil painters in the Caribbean. The island is known for its beautiful weather, fantastic cuisine, rich culture and influential icons. Each artist in Jamaica captures the essence of the country to create art pieces that bring a touch of tropical charm into the homes and offices of people around the world. Beautiful Jamaica oil paintings can be found in galleries such as the National Gallery of Jamaica and The Art Centre, as well as in craft markets across the island.
National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica, +1 876 922 1561
The Art Centre, 202 Old Hope Road, Kingston, Jamaica, +1 876 927 1608
Calabash wooden bowls
The calabash, also known as Crescentia cujete, huingo, krabasi and kalebas, is the fruit of the calabash tree and is native to the Caribbean, South, Central and North America. It is used by craftsmen in Jamaica to make a variety of craft goods including jewelry and tote bags, but the most popular item is the calabash bowls. Hand-carved calabash wooden bowls are usually used for serving and eating food, but they can also be used in the home for decorative purposes. These unique bowls can be found in craft markets and shops in Jamaica.
Jamaican cuisine is an adventure for the taste buds due to the mixture of potent herbs and spices used in the food preparation process. The combination of seasoning that brings out the unique flavour is what so many enjoy about Jamaican food. Jamaican Jerk Seasoning is one of the most sought-after spice mixes in the world because it’s used to make Jamaica’s delicious jerk chicken. A variety of different spices for different methods of cooking can be found in supermarkets in Jamaica.