Charles Garden Market

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Shopping

The most interesting day to visit the city's main food market is on Saturday when residents of Montego Bay and area stock up on supplies for the week. The outdoor market is best on weekends.

Here you can buy fresh meat and fish, but it's the fruits and vegetables that make this experience so interesting. These include dried cinnamon leaves, fresh thyme, turmeric root and pimento wood - scented with the flavours of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon - used to make jerk chicken and pork.

Explore the spread of root vegetables and fruits such as soursop and ackee (a local staple served with salt cod for breakfast). There's also callalloo - a spinach-like green used in pepperpot soup, salads and cooked as a filling for Jamaican patties. You'll also find the usual tropical treats like pineapple, banana, coconut, papaya and, of course, the fiery Scotch bonnet pepper used in jerk barbecue sauce.

The wooden-wheeled pushcarts used by vendors to haul goods are also worth noting. These are the same kind of contraptions used by the Jamaican Bobsled Team to train for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary!