America is a land full of wonderfully tasty cuisines. And while typical Americana entrees like meatloaf, hamburgers, and fried chicken are all within reach, our eclectic country is also populated by more globally-inspired-grub. Anybody with a nose and half a brain can find Chinese food in pretty much every metropolitan part of this great land. Mexican meals are offered by trucks, drive-throughs, fancy 5-star-joints, and tiny greasy spoons. Italian food is also just as common with the added bonus of delivery for the hardcore couch potatoes. Stuffing your face with Jamaican food, however, is not quite as easy.
Sure there are a few outposts of quality Caribbean inspired goodness, but the options are pretty limited. Enter Drew, a ginger with Irish roots and a New Orleans soul. He is married to a Danielle, who is Jamaican born and bred. She is a full-fledged island-girl and makes Miss Cleo look practically Caucasian. Living with Danielle, Drew has had the opportunity to taste true Jamaican cuisine, and formed a passion for the flavors. Daniela, naturally, cherishes her motherland’s entrees and has several priceless recipes up her sleeve that her mother bestowed upon her. Together, this Irish-Jamaican couple is creating amazing delicacies and making New Orleans a taster city.
For these two, good is not good enough. They strive for each bite of their creations to be a tasty vacation to the Caribbean. When hungry neighbors and friends started to visit the Ailinger’s homestead in hopes of nibbling on a few Jamaican delicacies, the couple realized they were on to something and that is would be selfish to keep their cooking to themselves. Now, the Ailingers are sharing their kitchen creations to the Jamaican-deprived city of New Orleans.
Old Jamaica Trading Co. was born and now Drew and Danielle hawk scotch-bonnet jams, bags of gourmet Jamaican coffee beans, and personal-sized cakes at numerous farmers markets across the city. While making a few bucks from sales is nothing to complain about, this duo’s true reward is seeing the grins on their happy customers after their first sample of authentic Jamaican grub. If you’re able to find them, we strongly suggest trying the Jamaican-Coffee-Caramel-Cheesecake. Yes, it’s as good as it sounds!
Both Ailingers have jobs in addition to their baking business, but they’re passionate enough about sharing good food with their community to work extra hours. Now if everybody else could follow their lead and share their damn passions, then the world would be a better place.
For more information about the Ailingers and Old Jamaica Trading Co., check out their Facebook page!