On the Northern Coast of Jamaica, lies the parish of Trelawny, affectionately known as “Yam Country” and home to the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt who jokingly credits his speed to the properties of this tuber.
Its capital town, Falmouth which houses Jamaica’s newest and largest cruise port (built in 2011), is well positioned between the more popular resort areas of Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. Whether you come by cruise ship for the day or by air to spend a few days on island, this charming seaside town offers great opportunities for veering off the beaten path and delving into a part of the island’s historic past.
Reminiscent of a bygone era, Falmouth boasts several attributes, including that of being one of the Caribbean’s best-preserved Georgian towns, one of the first shipping ports in Jamaica and having had running piped water before many other major cities in the world, including New York City.
History enthusiasts will want to participate in one of the guided walking or horse drawn buggy tours to see some of the beautifully restored 19th Century architectures in Falmouth’s historic district. I recommend Falmouth Heritage Walks, operating since February 2011 and referred to as “de original” walking tour of Falmouth. The tour includes stops at major national monuments like the Falmouth Courthouse, the Baptist Manse, William Knibb Baptist Church (also site of the grave of the famous abolitionist, William Knibb), St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Water Square and the Falmouth Jewish Cemetery. For more information, visit their website at www.visitjamaica.com/falmouth-heritage-walks.
Ranging from “sit down” establishments to street-side eateries, Falmouth boasts a veritable smorgasbord of traditional Jamaican cuisine, certain to tempt the palate of the most discerning Foodies.
For a taste of the renowned Jamaican Patty and Coco-bread, my pick is the Spicy Nice Bakery, located in the town’s famous Water Square, sharing space with the 1815 Court House, the 1896 Albert George Market Building, as well as several other early 19th-century buildings. Don’t leave without also trying their gizzadas, reputed to be the best ever tasted!
Peppers Jerk Centre, Nazz Restaurant & Bar and Yash Bowl are some of the other eateries serving up authentic traditional Jamaican dishes like Jerk pork, Jerk chicken, ackee & saltfish, etc. You are also sure to see food carts moving through the town with such delights as roast yam or breadfruit, pan chicken, ice cold jelly coconut, sugar cane and fresh tropical fruits.
And, if you are a Foodie with a passion for history, Falmouth Food Tour presents the perfect opportunity to satisfy both desires. Operated in collaboration with Falmouth Heritage Walks, this tour offers a delicious blend of Jamaican food and history in a two and a half hour guided walking tour of Falmouth, while sampling nuggets of the local cuisine. For more information, log on to www.jamaicaculinarytours.com.