The Best Way To Savor Jerk At Faith’s Pen In St. Ann

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By Christopher Spiker

When you visit Faith’s Pen in St. Ann, you’re not just indulging in a meal; you’re embarking on a flavorful journey that celebrates Jamaica’s culinary artistry. Here, the tantalizing aroma of jerk spices beckons you from vibrant street stalls, each one offering a unique twist on this beloved Jamaican favorite. As you savor mouthfuls of spicy, smoky jerk chicken or pork, complemented by traditional sides like roasted breadfruit and festival, you’ll find yourself immersed in an authentic taste experience that’s both unforgettable and unmistakably local. So grab a seat, let your senses guide you, and enjoy the best way to savor jerk at Faith’s Pen. Have you ever wondered what it feels like to bite into the perfect piece of jerk chicken or pork? Imagine the aromatic dance of spices, the smoky flavor from the woodfire grill, and the juicy tenderness that makes your taste buds do a happy jig. If you’re a food lover, then you owe it to yourself to experience this at Faith’s Pen in St. Ann, Jamaica—a veritable haven for jerk enthusiasts.

The Best Way To Savor Jerk At Faiths Pen In St. Ann


Faith’s Pen is a legendary stop along Jamaica’s north-south highway, particularly famous for its assortment of jerk stalls. It’s not just a place to eat; it’s an experience, a cultural tapestry woven together by the flavors, aromas, and vibrant personalities of the vendors. In this guide, you’ll discover the best way to savor jerk at Faith’s Pen in St. Ann.

What Makes Faith’s Pen Special?

Nestled between Kingston and Ocho Rios, Faith’s Pen serves as a culinary oasis for travelers and locals alike. Each vendor at the market offers their unique take on traditional jerk recipes, making Faith’s Pen a cornucopia of flavors waiting to be explored.

You’ll find around a dozen stalls set up side by side, each promising their version of the most unforgettable jerk dish you’ll ever have. Whether you’re a seasoned jerk aficionado or new to this iconic Jamaican dish, Faith’s Pen offers something for everyone.

Historical Context

Jerk cooking traces its roots back to the African slaves who marooned themselves in Jamaica’s inland mountains during the 18th century. They developed a unique method of cooking and preserving meat, using local spices and slow-cooking techniques. This culinary tradition has been passed down through generations, and Faith’s Pen serves as one of the torchbearers of this delicious legacy.

The Best Time To Visit

Like any foodie hotspot, timing your visit can significantly impact your experience. While Faith’s Pen is open year-round, it’s advisable to visit during peak hours to get the freshest jerk.

Peak Hours

Faith’s Pen usually sees a bustling crowd during midday, roughly between 11 AM to 2 PM. This is when the jerk stalls are at their liveliest, offering freshly cooked jerk chicken, pork, fish, and even goat.

Time Crowd Level Freshness
11 AM – 2 PM High Extremely Fresh
2 PM – 5 PM Medium Fresh
After 5 PM Low Less Fresh

Why Midday?

Visiting during midday ensures that you have the most choices available to you. Most vendors start preparing their meats early in the morning, so by midday, everything is cooked to perfection. Plus, you get the added bonus of mingling with other food enthusiasts and perhaps even exchanging a few foodie tips!

Selecting the Right Vendor

Navigating through the assortment of stalls can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first visit. Each vendor has their specialty, but how do you know which one to choose?

Vendor Recommendations

Here are some vendor recommendations based on popular opinion and reviews.

  1. Johnny’s Jerk Stall

    • Specialty: Jerk Chicken
    • Customer Review: “Johnny’s is a must-visit. The chicken is always perfectly seasoned and grilled to perfection.”
  2. Mama Sue’s Kitchen

    • Specialty: Jerk Pork
    • Customer Review: “Mama Sue knows her pork! The spices are just right, and it’s tender like no other.”
  3. Kingston Flavors

    • Specialty: Jerk Fish
    • Customer Review: “The fish here is incredible. It’s fresh and seasoned beautifully.”

What to Look For

When choosing a vendor, consider the following:

  • Aroma: The smoky, spicy aroma should draw you in.
  • Cleanliness: The stall should be tidy and well-maintained.
  • Crowd: A bustling stall is generally a good sign that the food is top-notch.
  • Interaction: Friendly and engaging vendors often put the same level of care into their cooking.

The Best Way To Savor Jerk At Faiths Pen In St. Ann

The Art of Jerk Cooking

Understanding what goes into the making of jerk will help you appreciate it even more. Jerk is not just about slathering meat with spicy marinades; it’s an art form rooted in history, tradition, and community.

Ingredients Used

The core ingredients for any jerk seasoning include:

  • Scotch Bonnet Peppers: These provide the heat.
  • Allspice (Pimento): A crucial spice that provides a unique flavor.
  • Thyme: Adds an earthy, aromatic quality.
  • Garlic: For a robust flavor.
  • Ginger: Offers a fragrant, spicy kick.
  • Scallions: For a mild onion-like flavor and aroma.

Cooking Process

Traditionally, jerk meat is slow-cooked over pimento wood, which adds a distinctive smoky flavor. The actual cooking process involves:

  1. Marination: The meat is marinated for several hours, sometimes overnight, to absorb all the flavors.
  2. Grilling: The marinated meat is then slow-cooked over a pimento wood fire. This slow cooking allows the meat to cook thoroughly while absorbing the smoky flavors.

Pro Tips for Gourmet Lovers

To fully appreciate jerk, take your time to savor each bite. Notice the complexity of the spices and how they complement each other.

The Complete Jerk Experience

While jerk pork and chicken are the stars, you should also explore the range of sides and beverages available at Faith’s Pen to complete your meal.

Side Dishes

Some popular side dishes include:

  • Festival: A sweet, fried dough that pairs perfectly with jerk.
  • Rice and Peas: A classic Jamaican side that’s hearty and flavorful.
  • Bammy: A traditional flatbread made from cassava, offering a unique texture and taste.

Refreshing Beverages

To wash down the savory flavors, consider these local drinks:

  • Fresh Coconut Water: Hydrating and refreshing.
  • Ting: A grapefruit-flavored soda that’s light and zesty.
  • Red Stripe Beer: Jamaica’s iconic beer, perfect for a true island experience.


Finish off your meal with a traditional Jamaican dessert:

  • Gizzada: A tart filled with sweet, spiced coconut, offering a delightful end to your meal.
  • Rum Cake: Decadent and rich, often soaked in Jamaican rum for an extra kick.

The Best Way To Savor Jerk At Faiths Pen In St. Ann

Insider Tips for First-Timers

To make your visit even more enjoyable, here are some insider tips:

  • Cash is King: Most vendors prefer cash payments, so ensure you have enough Jamaican dollars on hand.
  • Interaction: Don’t be shy to chat with the vendors. They often have fascinating stories and can give great food recommendations.
  • Explore: Don’t just stick to one stall. Try different vendors to get a well-rounded experience.
  • Take Your Time: Savor each bite—jerk is meant to be enjoyed, not rushed.

Sustainability and Community

By supporting Faith’s Pen, you’re also contributing to local sustainability efforts and community development. Many of the vendors source their ingredients locally, supporting Jamaican farmers and producers.

The Best Way To Savor Jerk At Faiths Pen In St. Ann

Spreading the Love

If you fall in love with the jerk at Faith’s Pen, you can bring a piece of it back home by purchasing some jerk seasoning from the vendors. Many stalls offer their own spice mixes, allowing you to recreate the flavors in your own kitchen.


Faith’s Pen in St. Ann is more than just a roadside stop; it’s a culinary pilgrimage for jerk lovers. With its rich history, variety of vendors, and authentic flavors, it offers an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, taking the time to savor jerk at Faith’s Pen is a must.

So, are you ready to let your taste buds embark on this flavorful journey? Pack your appetite and head to Faith’s Pen—you won’t be disappointed!

The Best Way To Savor Jerk At Faiths Pen In St. Ann