Beef Patty is Jamaica in the palm of your hand

Patty’s journey to fruition is as diverse as the history of Jamaica.

All in all, though, there can’t be a quicker takeaway – you order a piece of bread and rolls, and it’s delivered to you. If you’re lucky, it’s crispy to the touch. If you’re lucky, you’ve taken a bite fast enough for the steam to escape from the cake. And there’s a hit of the gift – enough Scotch to make you say, “Huh,” but not enough to make you sprint. But importantly, a steak is both discreet and utterly singular, a ritual taken for granted that you can’t help but mourn once it’s gone.

Patty’s journey to fruition is as diverse as the history of Jamaica; The island’s national motto is “Many, One”, adopted in 1962 after the island’s independence from Britain. From the arrival of the Spaniards (with their simultaneous anarchy) and the British (with their simultaneous anarchy) to generations of enslaved Africans on the island, the mix only increased as the years went by. The rhythm of migration and hired slaves also brought Chinese, Indians, Jews, and other Caribbean West Indians to the island. And through the rhythms of migration and resettlement, the confluence of cultures and beyond on the island has changed form, taking what it has been given and constantly adapting.

The island’s diet also changed. As Enid Donaldson writes in “The Real Taste of Jamaica,” the anticipation of new cultures arriving there “all helped create a uniquely Jamaican culinary fusion.” The world is much smaller than we make it. So perhaps it’s not surprising that one of the miracles of my life has been finding beef patties all over the world: I ordered them, four beers, from Patois’s bar, a restaurant Caribbean-Asia in Toronto; and I dined on barefoot patties at the beachfront convenience stores in Playa del Carmen; and I even found patty variations on the menu of a totally delightful (now defunct) Jamaican queer bar in Osaka, where the microwaved dish I ate was on four legs as a child served with umeshu.

But the biggest surprise comes closest to home. Not long ago, my boyfriend and I came across Cool Runnings in Houston, one of our first sit-down restaurant outings in the past few years. We were ushered into the dining room, an alternative discotheque, where musicians peeped above an empty stage. Our waitress asked about our spice tolerance – emphasizing, with a smirk, that we’re honest, for everyone’s sake – before she brought out a plate brown chicken stew, another plate and salted fish and then two patties: one beef, one chicken. Beef Patty is Jamaica in the palm of your hand

Fry Electronics Team

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