Uniquely JamaicaJamaica for all its size, have over its history, have had a significant influence on the rest of the world's culture, music and economy. The following are a few lesser known facts about Jamaica firsts.
The Ortanique is uniquely a Jamaican fruit first propagated in the parish of Manchester. As the name suggests, it is a cross between an orange and tangerine.
The Grapefruit is believed to have originated in Jamaica because the first written record of the term 'grapefruit' comes from Jamaica in 1814. Its name comes from that fact that it grows in clusters like grapes. The grapefruit is a hybrid of the sweet orange and a citrus plant named shaddock after the captain who first brought it to the West Indies from Polynesia in the 18th century.
Pineapple The pineapple, indigenous to Jamaica, appears on the Jamaican Coat of Arms and a pineapple watermark is used for the printing of Jamaican currency. It is believed Jamaica supplied Hawaii with its first commercial variety of pineapples.
PimentoPimento is indigenous to Jamaica. It was found growing in Jamaica by early Spanish explorers who were quite impressed with the taste and aroma of the berries and the leaves. Pimento trees were later discovered in Cuba and were presumed to have been taken there by migratory birds which had eaten the berries. Attempts to introduce pimento to other parts of the world gave trees that failed to produce fruit and so were largely abandoned. Jamaica remains the largest producer of pimento, although it is also grown in Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Brazil and the Leeward Islands.
The Breadfruit and Mutiny on the Bounty Captain Bligh, famous for the Mutiny on the Bounty, brought the breadfruit to Jamaica from Polynesia - the Jamaican House of Assembly paid him five hundred guineas to help pay for his second, successful, voyage.
MusicFor a country that's slightly smaller than the state of Connecticut and has a population of less than
3 million, Jamaica has done more to influence world music that any other country of its size and far more than numerous countries that are much bigger. The country's ska, reggae and dub musical styles and influences are heard around the world. -- Source: National Geograpic.
Richest and wickedest city in the world"
Port Royal was the center of shipping commerce in Jamaica in the 17th century. During this time, it gained a reputation as both the "richest and wickedest city in the world". After 1670, the importance of Port Royal and Jamaica to England was increasingly due to trade in slaves, sugar, and raw materials. It soon became the mercantile center of the Caribbean area, with vast amounts of goods flowing in and out of the port through an expansive trade network. Pirates from around the world congregated at Port Royal coming from as far away as Madagascar on the far side of Africa. Known today to 16th-18th-century focused archaeologists as the City that sank, it is considered the most important underwater archaeological site in the western hemisphere
Rum The island was the world's first commercial producer of rum.
LanguageThe words barbecue, canoe, hurricane, potato and tobacco come from the language of the first colonists of Jamaica, the Arawak Indians.
CoffeeCoffee from Jamaica's Blue Mountains is among the world's most famous and expensive.
James Bond Ian Fleming designed and built his home "Goldeneye" in Jamaica and wrote seventeen of his James Bond novels there.