Jamaican patties and a Red Stripe beer
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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 savoury. 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. It is traditionally filled with seasoned ground beef, but fillings can include chicken, lamb, 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 coco bread. It can also be made as bite-sized portions called cocktail patties. Among 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 colour.
The beef patty is a product of colonialism and migration developed after the introduction of the English pasty in the Caribbean, mixed with cumin and curry seasonings of Indian indentured servants in Jamaica and cayenne pepper from African slaves. "The firecracker taste of the Scotch bonnet, a hot pepper indigenous to Jamaica, sealed the flavour."
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. Patties were then found in restaurants in areas of the New York Metropolitan Area with high West Indian populations. Patties are equally popular in UK cities with large West Indian populations such as Birmingham and London. Their popularity is spreading in the UK and they are becoming available in many mainstream outlets.[better source needed] They also are popular in Toronto, Washington, DC, and numerous other areas throughout the American northeast and Canadian Great Lakes regions; in many of those areas, they are available in grocery stores, delis, corner stores, and convenience stores.
In recent years, the Jamaican meat patty is found pre-made and frozen in Britain, Canada, and the United States. The patty can often get its bright yellow colour from turmeric. In many areas in Canada and in the United States, beef patties are now typically available at local pizza and convenience food restaurants.
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- Michelle Garcia For N.Y. Caribbean Beef Patty Co., Business Is Cooking February 14, 2005; Page A03 Washington Post
- "Island Delight - Delicious Caribbean Style Patties and Savoury Slices by Cleone Foods Ltd". Cleone.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
- "Port Royal Mixed Vegetable Jamaican Patty 140G - Groceries - Tesco Groceries". Tesco.com. Retrieved 2013-03-15.