15 Facts About the Tasty Jamaican Patty
by Deon Clarke | Associate WriterPhoto: Jamaican Beef Patties
That golden, yellow crust, filled with juicy, goodness from beef, chicken, cheese, lobster, shrimp to soy and vegetables, you name it. It couldn’t be anything else but a sumptuous, mouth-watering Jamaican patty. So, how did patty become a “thing” in Jamaica? Even as a child I can remember patties were always there! Whether it was for a break or lunch time snack at school, or mom went into the town and came back with it, it was something we all looked forward to. It’s a great-tasting and affordable, filling snack enjoyed by persons from all walks of life! I mean there’s even cocktail patties for the glamorous parties! Let’s take a look at 15 facts about patty in Jamaica.
- The patty came about due to the combination of slavery and colonialism. Historians agree that the Jamaican Patty is a unique blend of the British and the African culture. Historians believe that this delectable pastry came from a traditional variety of pastry which is particularly known in Cornwall, in the UK. However, during servitude, the enslaved Africans added the Jamaican twist to the pastry, by adding cayenne pepper as well as other seasonings.
- Juici Patties, one of the oldest patty company in Jamaica, founded by Jukie Chin. He started out making patties at the age of 16 in his mother's kitchen and sold them in the family's grocery store. The company officially opened its first restaurant in May 1980.
- But there were many bakeries and small patty shops making and selling patties in Jamaica prior to this, but for sure, the one that has stood the test of time, and now is probably the oldest, most reputable, is Tastee Patties, which was opened in 1966.
- Approximately 300,000 patties are baked daily in Jamaica.
- One patty contains approximately 336 calories, 15 grams of fat and 432 milligrams of sodium. Most of a patty’s calories are in the crust.
- The patty became popular as wherever Jamaicans migrated and settled they brought the patty recipe with them. Patties are popular worldwide in places such as in the US, Canada, UK, The Philippines. There is also a growing in popularity in the Middle East, Abu Dhabi, particularly.
- Jamaican patties need a permit to be imported to Barbados. In 2014, Barbados warned that importers of patties from Jamaica must obtain a permit.
- Since 1978, Randy’s (a popular restaurant in the west end community of Toronto popularly called “Little Jamaica”) has been serving traditional Jamaican patties as a part of their menu.
- The two largest patty companies in Jamaica are Juici Patties and Tastee Patties, established in the 1960’s. Jamaicans constantly debate on which tastes better.
Photo: Juici Patties and Tastee Patties
- Golden Crust bakery initiated what is called the National Jamaican Patty Day which occurs annually on the first Saturday in August.
- Patties are popularly paired with coco-bread or folding bread, as Jamaicans believe the bread helps in enhancing the patty’s flavour. It is also more filling when the two are paired.
- The first annual Jamaican “patty-eating” contest was held in Brooklyn as a part of its Labour Day celebrations.
- In 2012, the Jamaican Government introduced General Consumption Tax (GCT) on patties as it was a popular treat.
- Randy’s Patty in Toronto has held the number one spot for several years for having the best beef patties throughout the city.
- The Toronto Star once hailed the Jamaican beef patty as a 'healthier' fast food choice, citing that it was healthier than Pizza and Tacos.
- The Rastafarian community in Jamaica has their version of the patty, an ital patty, which is called a “Yatti”.
So there you have it. I bet you didn’t know so much about Jamaican patties. Now when you enjoy this delicious meal, you can have a greater appreciation of its origins and the impact it has had on the world and locally. Patty is a really big thing in Jamaica. I feel like having beef and cheese one right now, lol. How about you?
I also recommend you read Jamaican Meat Patties-An Island Favourite!
- Jamaican Beef Patty, My-Island-Jamaica, https://www.my-island-jamaica.com/jamaican_beef_patty.html
- 21 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the Jamaican Patty, https://www.ilovejamaicans.com/21-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-the-jamaican-patty/
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