Festival is a tradition in Jamaica. No, I’m not talking about an outdoor party, although I do love the steel drum music they play near the pool. Jamaican Festival bread is a traditional side served with dishes like Jerk Chicken and Escovitch Fish. The actual name is Festival Dumpling, but in my opinion, it looks and tastes like bread. The first time I tried Festival, I was intrigued. It is lightly sweet with a familiar taste similar to cornbread.
After returning from a trip to Jamaica in February, I was inspired to recreate a few of the dishes I tried there. If you look on the internet, you can find a wide range of recipes for Festival. However, after trying a few of them, they just didn’t quite taste like the one I tried in Jamaica. Some were too doughy, others were dry or didn’t quite have the light sweetness I was looking for. After tweaking, changing, and playing around with the ingredients, I finally landed on a version of Festival I think is most like the bread I enjoyed in Jamaica.
One of the things I love most about Festival is how easy it is to make. Only a few ingredients and about 15 minutes to mix, roll and prepare for the oil is all it takes. Drop them in hot oil and another 8 minutes, you a have hot, delicious traditional Jamaican side dish to serve with any meal. I recommend eating them while they are warm for the best flavor and texture. So good!
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