Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Jamaican Patty (The Patty Shop)

I love Jamaican patties, I don't know why.

Hence, I was always curious about The Patty Shop, which we kept passing by whenever we go to La Buca (
here and here, and other times). We never had the chance to go in because they would be closed by the time we finished dinner.

But, we were going to or from Stong's and managed to pop by here on the way.

We decided to buy a frozen dozen, not knowing what their patties looked like as none were showcased when you enter the store. They just had a chalkboard up with prices for individual patties or frozen dozens.

I thought they made the patties there, but perhaps not since this is the frozen dozen we received.

Easy enough to prepare. I popped it frozen into the toaster oven (set at 400F) and it was ready.

I have a weakness for pastry and this is the only reason why I downed three of these babies. Feel like wasted stomach space right now.

Having average Jamaican patty just makes me want to have great Jamaican patty. Please note I do not have any clue how a "Jamaican patty" is supposed to taste like: all I know that this patty didn't particularly taste that great to me.

If anybody has a great recipe for Jamaican patty, please forward them now. Or else we'll be forced to come up with our own. ;) It's going to be a challenge anyhow, doing pastry with a savoury filling, something I've always wanted to do.

The frozen pastry was not that good. It had an aftertaste -- I'm thinking the shortening? -- that was not welcome.

It was good enough for me; I have no complaints. I even like those yellow-pastry'ed Jamaican patties that you get frozen, and I think this is better than those ones. ;D I guess this is an example of processed foods that I don't mind. (Shocking but true confession!)

But, a taste of authentic Jamaican patties (if such things exist) is indeed in order.

For a Jamaican patty project, I'm thinking puff pastry with 2 kinds of filling. One would be a jerk chicken filling and another a beef-curry-ish filling, along the lines of Jamaican goat curry but without the goat.


  1. ts/js,

    You are on a worthy quest. The 'real' thing is to die for, but elusive and fragile. Truthfully Ive never seen a frozen product that will take you to "The island".

    I have no advice to share on getting the crust to cooperate, but when you get it right you will know. The texture will be like puff-pastry, that many flaky layers, but from yellow corn flour.

    Your filling ideas sound great. An authentic patty filling has the texture of course mud, so a spin in the food mill is likely in order.

    Here is a recipe that can get you close. Need to substitute rendered beef fat for the shortning, and corn flour for the wheat flour in the pastry dough. Add 1 teaspoon of fresh allspice instead of the nutmeg in the meat.

    While these are a little work, you will love them when they come out of the oven.

  2. Thanks, Robert, for the link. Following your tip, I bought ourselves a bag of corn flour.

    I can't wait to try my hand on this project. Note though that I haven't worked with pastry before and really not much of a cook but I will try my darnedest. =)

    Keep your fingers crossed.

  3. FYI the Patty Shop does make fresh patties and they're delicious. That bag of frozen patties you bought is their product, they ship it to supermarkets, and like any frozen product, it's rather disgusting when re-heated. You really should have bought fresh patties when you were there, that's the whole point of going to the Patty Store (other than their frozen bags might be a little cheaper than at the supermarket, but who wants frozen when you can get fresh right from the oven there???) PS: the veggie patties are better than the meat ones, in my opinion

  4. We wanted a larger quantity of the patties at that time, since we just had lunch. Will try the veggie ones when we perhaps go to La Buca again (haha) or on the way to Stong's. Although, logistically, they would have to have the patties made already for the day, yes? Then heated up for customers? I assume they can't bake it to order since that would take too long.

    (Is the "curry" flavor traditional as well? Or just the regular beef one? I asked the person there and she said the hot beef one was the traditional.)

  5. ts,

    From experiance, Jamaican words mean alittle different ting' than english.

    'Mild' = HOT

    'Hot' = @#$*! OH SHIT!

    'Very Hot' = 911

  6. They bake them all day long and sometimes you have to wait 5 or 10 minutes, but usually they have them ready. I dont know how long they keep them under 'heatlamps' but they usually taste pretty fresh. They sell a lot of patties at that place, so they make a lot. I assume like any fast-food place they make more around lunch time and for the after-work rush. By the way, they also have a spinach and cheese one which they only make one day of the week, Monday or Tuesday I think, and it's pretty good too. But not suitable for vegetarians, as there is beef juice in the pastry, unlike the veggie patties. Salvage is right about the hotness, I don't get anything but mild. Any hotter, and I can't taste the food at all, all I taste is hot.

  7. oh and yes, I believe the beef one is the original patty. I think it's the only one you can get in three different levels of hotness.

  8. oh and here's another tip, try the vanilla cupcakes at nearby Westside Bakery. They taste like homemade twinkies.

  9. I guess I have a higher tolerance for heat, because the "hot beef" ones tasted "normal" or neutral to me, haha. We finished our bag of patties last night! It's been really good the past few nights when we would get home late and have to find something to eat!

  10. yeah but if you're eating the frozen ones, lots of the taste and hotness gets lost in the process... I bet you will notice a big difference when you try a fresh one!

  11. FYI they are almost as authentic as the ones you get in Jamaica. I am Jamaican. If you've never had a patty before how can you say if it "tastes Jamaican?" or not

  12. We've tried the hot ones again and they still weren't that hot! Perhaps they've toned the heat level down quite a lot already.

    Hmm, I think we should try finding other places that make patties and see how they all compare.

  13. The Patty Shop is great! Definitely try purchasing them fresh. I bring them in fresh to my school staff as a special treat and they are goobled up quickly.

    When you buy them frozen, forget about the instructions on the bag. Heat them up slowly (300 degrees for 20-25 minutes). The spice becomes more intense and the flavour definitely come through.


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