A Jamaican market in full swing is something to experience. Why not visit a country market, to involve yourself in the essence of Jamaican lifestyle? You see it, hear it, smell it, and if you buy something, you can taste it too!
Our markets show us more than just Jamaican fruits and all the other foods eaten in Jamaica. They are at the centre of the lives of thousands of Jamaicans, who buy, sell and socialise in them each week. Part of Jamaica's pulse, you could say.
We use the term "market" to refer to those structures which sell mainly fresh produce grown on the island, as opposed to "supermarkets", which sell mainly processed and packaged foods.
In the photo above we see locally grown escallion (skellion), avocado (pear), breadfruit and kola nut (bizzy). The photo below is of tobacco (jackass rope).
In days gone by, many schools had very low attendance on Fridays, the traditional market day. Rural children, especially, would be expected to help their parents sell at the market.
The lives of many country districts still revolve around the market. Vendors are often seen piled, along with their wares, in trucks, pick-ups and buses, heading to market in the late hours of night, or the wee hours of the morning, to set up in time for the day's sales.
You may also find haberdashery, clothes and cosmetics in some of the stalls.
If you find a real country market to visit, you never know what other interesting features of Jamaican culture may mark your way. This is a really great avenue for you to have a memorable experience of rural Jamaica.
Newmarket, in the hills of St. Elizabeth, is one of the most popular markets on the island. Black River Market and Santa Cruz Market are the other big markets in St. Elizabeth.