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A Walkabout Through Falmouth, Trelawny and a Visit to the Market

Are you looking for some local culture? Some busy streetlife?

Falmouth lower parade street
Walking along the Lower Parade Street in the centre of Falmouth.

If you are a guest at Silver Sands Jamaica, then all the hustle and bustle of busy streetlife and "nuff" culture can be found only about eight miles away in Falmouth, Trelawny. Take a walkabout through Falmouth Town and take in the local scenes; then go to the Falmouth Market where a wide selection of Jamaican-grown quality fruits and vegetables are avaiable in abundance and at the best prices. Feeling a bit unsure or insecure about such an expedition, then ask your villa staff to accompany you and guide you through this interesting and unique experience.

Falmouth side street
Street life

Stroll down the main thoroughfare, Lower Parade Street, which is lined with tall Royal Palm trees. Motorized vehicles are not permitted there, but you will have to watch out for the Jamaican handcarts (also called pushcarts), made famous internationalluy in the feature film, "Cool Runnings". Handcarts are homemade, mostly from discarded timber, making each one unique and full of charm and character. These vehicles are used to transport merchandise and also as mobile "shops" with the goods spread out on display.

handcarts on walking street
Handcarts take over Lower Parade Street.

pushcart display
Fruits and vegetables on display on a pushcart.

pushcart used to sell coconuts
Jelly coconut pushcart.

No trip to Falmouth would be complete without a visit to Spicy Nice Bakery, off Water Square. Their Jamaican patties are fresh from the oven and piping hot (and if you wish pepper hot too). Try the coco bread, which Jamaicans use to make a sandwich with the patty as the filling. Coco bread is made with coconut milk. Every day, Jamaicans consume hundreds of thousands of patties, with the major manufaturers being Juci and Tastee - the patty is Jamaica's most popular fast food.

patties coco bread
Patties and Coco Bread

Spicy Nice also tempts you with a wide selection of pastries, including Jamaican Ghetto Pastry and "hard-to-find-these-days" old-time Jamaican treats like Plantain Tarts. Spicy Nice has a seating area where you may enjoy your snacks. But if you are not hungry, buy some to take back to your Silver Sands Villa.

Here's a tip for you:
Patties freeze really well. When you are ready for them, thaw them out and heat in the oven (not the microwave). This is a really inexpensive snack, and can be easily made into a filling meal if your villa cook prepares some light Jamaican soup (pumpkin is a favourite) as a starter and a green salad to accompany the patties.

While visiting Spicy Nice, we bumped into Leroy Anderson, better known as Shortman (no prizes for guessing why he is called Shortman!), who was plying his trade. He's an amazing mobile higgler with a bag of lettuce on his head, onions and garlic strung over his right shoulder, scotch bonnet pepper and sweet peppers strung over his left shoulder, bags with tomatoes and other vegetables in his left hand, and escallion and thyme and a wad of Jamaican dollars in hs right hand.

leroy anderson aka shortman shortman smiling

While the central area around Water Square is most popular, it would be a mistake to avoid the quiet narrow lanes where there is much to hold your attention if you slow down and take the time to observe.

vendor on side street with handcart
Vendor, in a side street, on her smart phone, displaying goods on a handcart under a beach umbrella for shade.

randy buying a sno cone
Junior shaves ice to make sno cones.

The Falmouth Market
Just walking through the Falmouth Market is a worthwhile experience in itself; but buy your fresh produce there and you will save a lot of money. A new Falmouth Market is under construction, but until it is ready the Falmouth Market looks like a disorganised mess with makeshift structures, some covered in rusting zinc sheeting. Be brave, and don't let that put you off!

walking into the falmouth market
Walking into the Falmouth Market.

In the open air and under sheets of blue plastic, which provide relief from the blazing hot sun, you will find a wide range of fruits and vegetables at prices that are far less than you usually obtain in supermarkets and tourist areas. After all, many of these retailers purchase from these same vendors in the Falmouth Market and then sell back to you, adding their costs and profit margins.

stalls under blue plastic
Market stalls, shaded under sheets of blue plastic.

We were guided through the market by Bryan Kiteboarder in July 2018. The vendors were neither agressive nor pushy, and their produce was excellent. Bryan seemed to know half the peeople in the market and there were shouts, "hailing" him up, from all around as we wandered through the displays. If your Jamaica villa cook or housekeeper knows her way around the Falmouth Market, it really is a good idea to have her accompany you there.

market stall
Market stall laden with local produce. Cucumber, escallion (like spring onions), onions, tomatoes, and watermelon.

denzil bundling his callaloo denzil's lettuce
Denzil, preparing bundles of locally grown callaloo and lettuce. In the foreground are ripe plantains.

As mangoes were in season in July, they were plentiful and for sale at one-third the price being asked by the vendors in tourist areas. We stocked up on the variety called Julie, purchasing from Bryan's grandmother.

buying mangoes julie mangoes
Buying Julie mangoes in the Falmouth Market from Bryan's Grannie.

If you ONLY like to shop in an air-conditioned supermarket with bright lights, wide aisles and packaged produce, do not go to Falmouth Market. If you want a real Jamaican experience, shop in the market the way most locals do.

The Falmouth Market is at its best on Fridays and Saturdays. It is open on all other days, but with less available and usually at higher prices. On Wednesdays, there is the well-known Bend Down Market - but that's a different story.

A really great organised food tour, walking through Falmouth, may be booked at the Mysilversands Guest Services Desk


Find out about other Real Jamaican Experiences.


More Things to do in Jamaica.