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Top Shotta Jerk Chicken--A Food Truck With A History

Taneisha Henline with face mask and scarf around hair, in window of yellow and green food truck

Top Shotta Jerk Chicken Food Truck can be found in the parking lot at 3rd and College, across from Atlas Bar Thursday-Saturday evenings. (Kayte Young/WFIU)

This week on our show we visit with Taneisha Henline, chef and owner of Top Shotta Jerk Chicken in Bloomington, about running a food truck during a pandemic, and how cooking traditional foods connects her with her ancestors. 

We have stories from Harvest Public Media’s series on how food insecurity in the US has been heightened by COVID 19.

And Josephine McRobbie brings us the final installment in her series with Joe O'Connell on the Oregon Fishing industry.

Taneisha Henline in face mask with Top Shotta long sleeved black t-shirt, looking at camera, standing in a park

Cooking Jerk Chicken and sharing it with the community helps Taneisha Henline connect with her culture and honor her Maroon ancestors. (Kayte Young/WFIU)

Taneisha Henline came to Bloomington from Jamaica six years ago. While she loves living in Bloomington, it was her longing for the foods she grew up with that drove her to open her own food truck, serving Jerk Chicken, cooked on an outdoor grill and served with 'rice and peas'--a seasoned rice dish with kidney beans.  

I spoke with Taneisha in a City park downtown about running a food truck during a pandemic, what sharing food means to her, and the history of the Jerking method of preparing meat. 

Top Shotta Jerk Chicken Food truck can be found at lunchtime on Wednesdays at Dirt Sports, and Thursdays-Saturdays from 5-8pm across from Atlas Bar on College, between 3rd and 4th streets in downtown Bloomington (weather permitting, it is best to check their facebook page). Due to coronavirus restrictions, Taneisha prefers that customers place orders online ahead of time.

Green and yellow food truck with "top shotta jerk chicken" logo and a person stepping out the back towards a smoking barrel-style grill behind the truck. Brick building and blue sky in the background
Taneisha calls her food truck Nanny of the Maroons, named in honor of an important leader and heroic figure in Jamaican history. 

Stories On This Episode

Stories and Songs Connect Oregon Fishers with Coastal Newcomers

Five grey-haired guys standing around micophones on an outdoor stage with a sunshade behind them. One is holding a guitar.

Workers in Oregon’s commercial fishing industry share a close-knit culture. Now they’re trying to imagine how regional tourism fits into that community.

Farm Workers Fight To Survive Amid Fires And Virus

Landscape of dry farmland with orange-brown sky

As smoke from wildfires blanket Western states and COVID-19 cases climb, farm workers are facing a deadly confluence of duel disasters during harvest season, with little choice but to stay in harm’s way for their livelihoods.

In Rural Nebraska, Combating Pandemic Hunger Requires All Hands On Deck

A distanced shot of a large tent with a line of cars heading into the tent and a person standing outside

After COVID-19 arrived in small towns, rural leaders were faced with a new challenge: getting food to hungry families safely.

Some Prices Are Still Higher, But Meat Production Has Mostly Recovered From COVID-19 Disruptions

Brown and black cows with tags in their ears cluster together and face the camera in a large pen outdoors

Beef and pork production are nearly back to pre-pandemic levels after disruptions during the spring when outbreaks of COVID-19 sent workers home and meat plants reduced production.

With Extra Food In Their Fields, Farmers Partner With Nonprofits To Help The Hungry

A group of 7 people, outdoors, holding bunches of turnips and presenting a crate full of turnips as they look towards the camera smiling.

Harvest Public Media’s Seth Bodine reports on how one group in Oklahoma is helping farmers get excess food off the farm to those who need it most.

Farmers Are Getting Another Round Of Coronavirus Aid, But USDA Hasn't Fully Spent The First One

Image of government form "Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Application"

President Trump announced the additional relief at a campaign rally.

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