A Jamaican patty is a pastry that contains various fillings
and spices baked inside a flaky shell, often tinted golden yellow with an egg
yolk mixture or turmeric. It is made like a
turnover but is more savory. As its
name suggests, it is commonly found in Jamaica, and is also eaten in other areas
of the Caribbean, such as Costa Rica's Caribbean coast.
patties and a Red Stripe beer.
In Haiti, the pastry is thick and crispy, making it
essentially a turnover.
It is traditionally filled
with seasoned ground beef, but fillings can include chicken, vegetables, shrimp,
lobster, fish, soy, ackee, mixed vegetables or cheese.
In Jamaica, the patty is
often eaten as a full meal, especially when paired with bread. It can also be
made as bite-sized portions called cocktail patties. Amongst the Jamaican
diaspora in the UK, the pastry is more like that of a suet crust, and often made
with the fat from Curry Goat which provides the yellow color.
The beef patty is a product of colonialism and migration developed after the
introduction of the English turnover in the Caribbean, mixed with cumin and
curry seasonings of East Indian indentured servants in Jamaica and cayenne
pepper from African slaves.
Jamaicans brought recipes for the patties northward in the 1960s and 1970s when
many came to the United States as hospital orderlies, home health aides and
nurses. In recent years, the
Jamaican meat patty is found pre-made and frozen in Britain, Canada, and the US
(primarily New York City and South Florida).