In the past five years, there has been a noticeable spike in the popularity of veganism, though the average Jamaican will not readily understand the term and will interpret it as one who is simply vegetarian. Those who do understand the term can view it as a way of life for wealthy Jamaicans or tourists. No worries! Jamaica is a vegan haven without perhaps knowing it.
The Ital diet eaten by authentic Rastafarians, can be compared to that of vegans. They both abstain from animal products, milk products and animal fats, although some do eat fish and most eat honey. So, if you see a Rastafarian food store or restaurant, rest assured that you can eat there safely. Mention that you are vegan and give a few explanations as to what you abstain from. People will usually understand your requests without any
Secondly, you will also have plenty of vegan dishes available in restaurants serving local cuisine (see LOCAL FOOD page). Heavily influenced by Indian vegetarian cuisine, Jamaican dishes pack a lot of flavors but little meat, eggs and fish. Watch out for dairy, though.
Vegan options in Jamaica are more readily available in health food stores and supermarkets (see LOCAL BRANDS page) in the major towns or tourist districts. But we are ready to bet that you will be perfectly happy with the abundance of juices, tropical fruits and vegetables straight from the farms, more often than not, organic.
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