If a summer vacation in the Caribbean seems out of the question this year, take heart. Tomorrow’s first annual Boston Jerkfest will be offering up thirst-quenching rum drinks for those who need to beat the heat - and spicy plate after plate, for those who like to revel in it. (Jamaican jerk spice gets much of its Scoville strength from Jamaican Scotch Bonnet Pepper, one of the world’s hottest chili peppers.)
It’s said that the barbecue-style process of jerking was perfected by Africans who eventually settled in Boston, a town in the Portland Parish of Jamaica. So the Hub seems like an appropriate setting for the festival, which will dole out heaps of Caribbean food from diverse city chefs. Additionally, artisan vendors will sell specialty foods like spicy jams and various tropical rum libations will flow like, well, tropical rum libations. (Plenty of craft beer too.) It’s all set to a soundtrack of live Caribbean and Latin bands.
The Jerkfest will hold two sessions tomorrow at the Benjamin Franklin Institute (41 Berkley Street in the South End): 11 AM-3 PM and 4-8 PM. All-access passes, inclusive of the food festival and its Rum & Brew tasting, are $35. Just hungry? Basic tickets are $15 ($6 for kids under 12). More info and advance purchases at bostonjerkfest.com.