There are two commonly held theories regarding how the name "Jerk" came to be used. One is that it originates from the Spanish word "Charqui",used to describe dried meat. Over time this term evolved from "Charqui"to "Jerky" to "Jerk". Another theory is that the name derives from the practice of jerking (poking) holes into meats to fill with spices prior to cooking. Nowadays, the word "Jerk" is used as a noun to describe the seasoning applied to jerked food and as a verb to describe the process of cooking used.
Jerk "huts" are all over the Caribbean Islands, and you can find them by the lovely smell. Many times they are shacks that are octaganal or circular built around a telephone pole to support the thatched roof. Dining is outside, as well as the cooking of the food, however this has since changed as most Caribbean and international restaurants serve jerked meals and all the preparations are done on the inside.
Some fifteen years ago, Jamaican Founder, Marie Walker came up with the idea to create a pop-up jerk restaurant in the Hamptons during the summer season. Several factors mitigated a slow start. Marie was not a chef and didn't know enough about jerk cooking! Entered friends with cooking benefits... but the plan later on took a back seat to marketing a Caribbean destination which she did for almost ten years! In 2013 Marie decided, her plan must be revived. We spoke with Marie about her vision and what led her to revisit her plans of 1999. "While traveling across the globe I have always felt that brand Jamaica continues to enjoy and influence many people. The international success of our sports personalities and our music and musicians is legendary. And everyone who has tasted Jamaica’s food loves it”.
“Then it occurred to me, how cool it would be to provide a jerk infusion to food we continue to enjoy and make it available in as many places as possible...my next step is to introduce the jerk to go™ brand to airports and malls across America and eventually throughout the world! jerk to go™ , expanding brand Jamaica!"