Ras Rody's Roadside Organic
You can experience a variety of elements of Jamaican culture at Rass Rody's Roadside Organic in Negril's West End. Ras Rody runs an Ital food business from this rustic shack constructed from wood, zinc and coconut thatch (Ital food is prepared and cooked in accordance with the tenants of Rastafari and is strictly vegan).
Several dishes are cooked everyday, the menu changing daily depending on which ingredients are in season at the time. Most diners order the combo which is made up of a sample of each of the dishes available, which combines stews, starches and vegetables to make up a satisfying and filling meal. Typical dishes include pumpkin soup, ackee, vegetable stew, rice and peas, veggie chunks and plantains. A regular favorite dish is the festival (a sweet fried corn bread) which, unique to Ras Rody's, is cooked in a large "cake" with slices being cut off. Fresh local ingredients are used everyday, most of which come from Rody's farm or farms of other people he knows in the area.
Ras Rody's has been selling food in Negril for over 16 years, starting out serving food from pots on a pushcart. The business has now settled in its permanent road side location in the West End area. Like many of Negril's long established eateries, Ras Rody's Roadside Organic is a family run business which offers friendly service. Rody is happy to spend time talking to diners, particularly about the Rastafarian way of life and the principles of Ital eating and living.
The diners are usually a mix of Jamaicans and tourists. Since the meals are slow cooked there are always pots of food on the stove ready to serve so this is a great place to eat a quick meal if you are in a hurry or pick up a box lunch to take away.
Since the food at Ras Rody's Roadside Organic is Ital it is prepared in accordance with the tenants of Rastafarianism, that is, the ingredients are always fresh, seasonal and locally sourced. The dishes are also slow cooked over natural fires so as to allow time for the flavour of all the ingredients to mix without subjecting the food to high temperatures which can kill off the vitamins and minerals in the food.
Look out for Ras Rody's recipe book "Roadside Organics: Irie Eats with Ras Rody" which is coming out shortly.© 2011 Jamaica Travel and Culture .com