What Are Jamaican Patties?

what are jamaican patties the bailiwick academy

What are Jamaican patties, exactly? Well, if you ask me, they’re a great snack which I can buy in the mall. They’re filling, can carry just the right amount of spice, and are great with Coke Zero.

Just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about… Well, I’m talking about these golden, moon-shaped treats that look like empanadas. Inside are mixtures of seasoned meat and spices that, believe me, are filling and delicious!

But sometimes, while biting into one, I think of many questions about it. For example, is it really Jamaican? And why is it yellow?

If you’re wondering the same things—or if you have other questions about it—you’re reading the right article! Read on to find out more about these savory treats.

When were Jamaican patties made?

First things first: Yes, Jamaican patties are, indeed, from the Caribbean nation of Jamaica. They came about when Jamaica was still under the control of British colonizers. The Jamaican patty is derived from Cornish pasties, an English meat-filled pastry that comes from Cornwall, England.

Of course, while these were introduced to Jamaica by the British, they eventually transformed, flavored, and spiced these pastries. As a result, they become classically Jamaican! 

According to Wikipedia, Jamaican immigrants eventually brought the recipe for these meat pies to the US and other countries. And that’s how the whole world learned about the delicious Jamaican patties. Currently, they’re available as frozen or fresh treats in groceries and restaurants in the United Kingdom, United States, and Canada.

What’s inside a Jamaican patty?

A classic Jamaican patty is filled with seasoned ground beef. The beef is cooked down with a blend of spices such as curry, turmeric (also common in Middle Eastern foods), allspice, and Scotch bonnet peppers, the latter being the secret to its spicy kick. As the dish evolved and spread around the world, variations have arisen.

While the original recipe only had beef as the main filling, you can now see Jamaican patties being stuffed with chicken, lamb, seafood, and even vegetarian options like soy. No matter your dietary preference, you can now enjoy one—or more—of these!

What is the Jamaican patty crust made of?

The Jamaican patty has a light, buttery, soft, and flaky crust, which gives it a perfect contrast to the hearty fillings. And when you eat it freshly baked, you’ll have a great experience of it crumbling with each bite, revealing the delicious fillings inside.

One distinctive feature of a Jamaican patty that really sticks out is its crust with a yellow color. What makes Jamaican patties yellow? Well, that’s the result of turmeric or curry powder being added to the dough—and doesn’t the color make the Jamaican patty super memorable and iconic?

What are the flavors of Jamaican patties?

What do Jamaican patties taste like? Well, the combination of tender meat and robust spices creates a taste sensation that’s both savory and slightly spicy. This unique blend of flavors keeps people coming back for more.

Are Jamaican patties spicy all the time? As mentioned above, Jamaican patties can be spicy due to the inclusion of Scotch bonnet peppers, ground allspice, and other spices. However, the level of spiciness can vary depending on your personal preference and the recipe you use.

Are Jamaican patties snacks, or can they be full meals?

Jamaican patties are versatile and can serve as either a satisfying snack or a small meal, depending on your appetite. Many people enjoy them as a quick lunch or dinner option. While I personally enjoy them as movie night snacks, you can have them any time of the day if you so choose.

Making Jamaican Patties at Home

If you’ve ever wondered how to make Jamaican patties, you’re in for a treat. While the traditional recipe can be somewhat complex, you can attempt to recreate these delicious pastries in their own kitchens. It will be a fun culinary journey that allows you to customize the flavors to your liking—especially if you get a really good recipe!

Make Irresistible Jamaican Patties Here At The Bailiwick Academy!

What are the best Jamaican patties you can make? Well, I don’t have an answer for that—after all, taste is subjective. But what I do know is that here at The Bailiwick Academy, you can make some of the best you will ever taste!

How? Well, with Chef Joey Prats’ latest online class: Irresistible Jamaican Patties!

Believe it or not, Chef Joey loves Jamaican patties. He wasn’t happy with the local offerings here, so he went on and developed his own recipes. Chef Joey didn’t stop at a Jamaican beef patty recipe, though—he also went and made chicken and tuna variants.

And, of course, expect a crisp, tender, meltingly delicious crust with a vibrant gold color. Make one of these from Chef Joey’s class; he guarantees you’ll never buy another patty from outside again!

So what are you waiting for? Learn to make these delicious snacks in the comfort of your home. Sign up at The Bailiwick Academy today! 

Oh, and as of this writing, Christmas is drawing near. Maybe these can be your food business offerings for bazaars and Christmas parties!

Final Thoughts

Jamaican patties are more than just another dish; they are a testament to the rich culinary heritage of Jamaica and its unique fusion with other cultures. Whether you savor them as a quick snack, a hearty lunch, or decide to make them at home, these flavorful pastries hold a special place in the hearts of food enthusiasts globally. Their vibrant yellow hue, spicy kick, and flaky crust make them memorable and iconic in the world of savory snacks. 

As we’ve explored their history, ingredients, and variations, it’s clear that their global reach and adaptability make them more than just a treat—they’re a worldwide sensation. Whether you enroll in Chef Joey’s class or buy one from a store, the allure of the Jamaican patty is undeniable. So the next time you bite into one, savor its rich history, its fusion of flavors, and the love and craftsmanship that goes into making each one!


Keep coming back to The Bailiwick Academy blog for more kitchen tips, tricks, and much more!

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