“When in Rome; live as the Romans do.” When in Jamaica; eat a patty! What’s the best way to eat a Jamaican Patty? So many ways!
Bobsledding down a hill, sitting on a bamboo raft, riding a donkey bareback down a mountain or propelled by dolphins above the azure Caribbean sea. Okay, maybe not!
Some like it hot. Some like it cold. Some eat it naked. When I say naked I don’t mean nude. You’d get crumbs in places you wouldn’t want flakes. I mean, some people eat a patty between Cocoa Bread. Naked, is just ‘au naturel’.
A whole heap of Jamaicans eat patty washed down with orange juice. A recipe for heartburn if you ask me but it explains why everybody drives so aggressively and blows their horn all the time. We’ve all got indigestion!
The bona fide way to eat a Jamaican patty is hand-held in a brown paper bag. If you come from a dry state this makes it feel delightfully illicit.
Original flavours are beef patty, chicken patty and meatloaf (beef filling wrapped in cocoa bread).
Nowadays, due to bakers realising anything can be wrapped in pastry and modern day dietary requirements, we now have veggie, callaloo (spinach), lobster patty, goat patty, cheese patty, even ackee and salt fish patty!
You can probably find gluten free, tofu patties if you search, but like chocolate free chocolate cake, fat free bacon or sex free sex, what’s the point? I’m sorry, if you’re a celiac, but maybe patty just isn’t for you.
Jamaica has three major patties: Tastee, Juicy Beef and Mothers but don’t ignore a small bakery who makes their own. Duncans in Trelawny has a bakery who make an orange coloured pastry patty that’s fire hot, beefy and delicious!
In my younger days I could nyam half a dozen patties a day. Not again. More than one and I get heartburn. Partly pepper; partly pastry.
So, for those of you who suffer similarly here’s a Patty Rating System for the correct amount of patty to eat at any one time.
Bottom of the scale is: Pat-Tuups; the minimum. You want patty but not heartburn? Tek a Pat-Tuups. A bite. Not a whole patty. “Just a Pat-Tuups.”
Next on the PRS scale is Pat-Optimum: OMG! The perfect amount of patty. “Me reach me Pat-Optimum!”
Of course Pat-Optimum is individual, ranging from Pat-Tuups up to six patty if you have Goat Belly.
Next: Patty-Fire or Patty-Reflux to use its scientific term. All it takes is just one Pat- Tuups over a Pat-Optimum and heartburn strikes. FIRE!
As you increase in age the amount of patty you can tolerate decreases sharply and you go from Pat-Tuups to Patty-Fire in a heartbeat or heartburn as the case may be.
Other patty related terms are:
Ex-Pat-riate. This is when you buy a box of frozen patties at the airport and expatriate them to friends and family in foreign.
Re-Pat-riate: This is when you belch or eructate. “Burp! Me just repatriate dat one.”
Finally there is Pat-ina: the unbelievable amount of crumbs in your car after eating one patty. “Geezum peas! Look, at all the Patty eena de car! It’s everywhere!”
The key to the best patty is the pastry!
My suggestion: buy Juicy Beef, Tastee, Mothers and any other patties you can find and have a blind taste test and see which one you prefer.
FYI: the antidote to pepper is not iced water! It’s honey! Either that or decapitation.
Tony Hendriks; Jamaican Paleface, talking.