British rapper Big Narstie and his mum are bringing Caribbean cuisine to the Canary Islands.
Narstie posed on Instagram on Tuesday in front of the giant sign, the picture captioned: “If anyone said to me years to come me and my mum have first Jamaican restaurant in Tenerife I’d say your lying lol”.
The main menu ranges from €7-€10 . Traditional favourites such as Jerk chicken and fish, stew beef and rice and mac ‘n’ cheese are included.
In a December interview with Mixtape Madness, Narstie spoke about the importance of Caribbeans paying homage to their heritage. He says the Jamaican community must not take their food ‘for granted’.
“If you went to Dubai, Turkey or if you went any other country, you’re going to get an Indian restaurant, a Chinese restaurant, a Turkish restaurant” said Narstie.
He argued that many other communities take their culture with them wherever they go, and it is time for Jamaicans to follow suit.
“It’s not because Dubai doesn’t want it, it’s because no one from our culture has got the balls to go over there and make it live and promote our food and culture,” he said.
Following the surface of a number of alleged ‘racist’ tweets in 2020, after the cancellation of the annual Carribean Notting Hill Carnival – Europe’s largest Street Festival – it is easy to see why his plea to immerse Caribbean culture in not only Europe, but globally, aren’t unfounded.
Due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, Notting Hill Carnival was cancelled for the last two years, despite Reading and Glastonbury festivals going ahead last year. Many have criticised the media for routinely negative coverage of the event although higher crime rates are reported at other major events and festivals in Britain.
Big Narstie says he hopes it gets to the stage where Jamaican food can be found anywhere in the world. It doesn’t have to be his. But he says there has to be “someone else flying the flag, giving people an oxtail or cornmeal porridge with some fried plantain”.