Today, the jerk meat of choice is chicken, though the technique is also applied to sausage, seafood, goat, beef, lamb, and the original jerk meat, pork. The dish originated in the 18th century with Jamaica's runaway slaves, who hunted feral pigs, rubbed the carcasses in foraged herbs and spices, and cooked the meat in covered pits. Not only was the preserved meat portable, but, as later visitors attested, it also tasted wonderful. On a visit to Jamaica in the late 1930s, the writer and anthropologist, Zora Neale Hurston, found jerk to be "more delicious than our American barbecue." We may have to agree.