Jerk was invented by Arawak Indians, who inhabited the primeval forests of the Jamaican uplands. As the legend goes—and legends are about all there is to go on—they'd rub freshly butchered wild boars with a tenderizing mixture that contained the dried berry of the pimento tree, which is native to the island and which came to be called allspice because it tasted like cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove combined. The meat was then roasted in a pit with wood from the same tree, imparting a sweet smokiness. The term "jerk" supposedly came from the Peruvian "chaqui"—not the most obvious echo—which referred to llama meat... More >>>