Daphne Ewing-Chow (Forbes) writes about Nathan Haddad’s love for Jamaican seasonings, his entrepreneurial spirit, national pride, and the Scotch Bonnet pepper—capsicum chinense (my favorite pepper, but in the “sweet” variety):
Nathan Haddad is in a state of reemergence. The sixth-generation Jamaican (by way of Lebanon, Africa and Scotland) has spent the past decade in culinary hibernation, mindfully crafting a repertoire of locally grown, authentic Jamaican seasonings reminiscent of the spirit of his people, and full of national pride. Whether it is Mango Barbecue, All Tings Spice, Ole Time Jerk, Scotch Bonnet Peppa, or any of a variety of one-stop-shop Jamaican flavorings for the do-it-yourself chef, Peppatree embodies the very essence of its northern Caribbean homeland.
With flavors so rich that they “cut down to the bone,” Peppatree is hardly just another ‘Jamaican food’ gimmick— the innovator’s soulfulness and passion lie not far behind. That force of nature… the energy imbued in these seasonings is quite simply— Nathan Haddad.
Not surprisingly, our interview and flavor sampling is just as unique.
We begin our adventure in Nathan’s off-road truck and head towards what he has promised will be the ultimate farm to table lunch— seasoned, of course, with the authentic Jamaican flavors of Peppatree. Our first stop is Maxine and Son’s Fish Enterprise in Rae Town Fishing Village in Kingston where fish vendor, “Ratty” hooks us up with four “just caught” hog snapper fish. We stop to pick up some fresh-from-the-farm okras, onions, and of course, “Scotchy”— Jamaica’s famous Scotch Bonnet peppers.
Nathan believes that the flavor of Jamaican Scotch Bonnet is special and unique because of the natural symphony of Jamaican soil, sunshine, and sea. He grew up in the countryside, surrounded by farmlands and has cultivated a sensitive palate that can pick up subtleties across flavor profiles. “Full of heat, yet with immense flavor; fruity notes mingled with tolerable heat,” he says of Scotchy.
“There are others making pepper sauce and seasoning products but there’s only one Jamaican Scotch Bonnet pepper,” he continues. “Whereas many peppers need the inclusion of other ingredients to make them shine, Scotchy shines all on its own. Grown anywhere else, it simply is not the same; ask any local or diasporic Jamaican, or anyone for that matter who has tasted locally grown and they will without hesitation concur. Yes, people will continue to make ‘Jamaican products’ outside of Jamaica, but it simply is not the same product, not the same people, not the same land, not our sunshine, not the same ‘vibe’, not our culture.” [. . .]
For full article, see https://www.forbes.com/sites/daphneewingchow/2022/04/20/the-flavor-of-peppatree-is-a-scotch-bonnet-infused-tribute-to-jamaica/?sh=74db7565518d
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