Mannish water

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Mannish water
Place of originJamaica
Main ingredientsGoat parts, vegetables, yams, potatoes, bananas, dumplings

Mannish water is a goat soup in Caribbean cuisine. It is believed to be an aphrodisiac and is made from various goat parts.

The soup has been sold packaged since 2006 when it competed for Best New Food Idea in a competition covered by The Jamaica Observer.[1][2] The Spicy Hill Farms company is behind the product, an offering of "Jamaica's favourite party soup".[3] The meal has been part of Maroon celebrations for over 300 years. The pieces of goat are seasoned with local herbs and spices, and cooked along with vegetables and 'food' - yam, potato, bananas and dumplings."[1] Feedback indicated it was going to be as popular as Tastee patties.[1] The Observer reported that mannish water is still popular at 'dead yard' functions, large stage shows and parties (to make sure one can drive home after a few drinks). The food company's factory is in the hills bordering Manchester and Trelawny parishes.[1]

According to the Rough Guide, mannish water is traditionally served to a groom on his wedding night.[4] It is also discussed as a cultural feature in books about Jamaica.[5]

The dish is mentioned in the 1974 Pluto Shervington song, "Ram Goat Liver", which was reissued in 1976 (following the success of "Dat") and made it to No. 43 in the UK Singles Chart.[6] The chorus contained the lines, "Ram goat liver good fi mek mannish water... curried goat lunch put de bite in your bark".

The dish is believed to have inspired The Rolling Stones with the name for their 1973 Goats Head Soup album. Some of the album was recorded during the early 1970s while the band was relocated in Kingston, Jamaica's Dynamic Sound Studios. Terrance Hayes's poem "Capra Aegagrus Hircus" refers to the stew.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d NOVIA McDONALD-WHYTE ['Mannish water' in a pack up for Best New Food Idea] May 18, 2006 Jamaica Observer
  2. ^ Sacha Walters Homestyle brings local dishes to supermarket shelves Archived 2011-07-23 at the Wayback Machine Jamaica Star online
  3. ^ "Spicy Hill Farms - Manufactures of Authentic Jamaican Products". Spicy Hill Farms. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  4. ^ Polly Thomas, Adam Vaitilingam, Polly Rodger Brown, The Rough Guide to Jamaica, page 38
  5. ^ Webley, Curtis (November 2004). Surviving in America - Curtis Webley - Google Boeken. ISBN 9781595262790. Retrieved 2014-06-15.
  6. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 496. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  7. ^ ""Capra Aegagrus Hircus"". The New Yorker. 2022-01-22. Retrieved 2022-04-05.

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