Sunday, February 08, 2009

Jamaican Patties

I've never really been a fan of Jamaican patties. The ones I've tried have all been frozen. They just aren't that great. I find the filling sometimes unappetizing, as I seem to always have mushy bits inside. I'm thinking they're supposed to be onions? Gross! I know it's funny that I'm going to say this, because I hate when my mom said it, but it'll taste so much better if I make it myself.

Why am I talking about Jamaican patties all of a sudden? Well, there's a small Jamaican food stall-place on (the North campus of) Humber College called Ackee Tree. Ever since the first day of school, I've always seen at least five different people eating their Jamaican patties everyday. I've also seen people eat some chicken and other things that the school's cafeteria could not make.

On a long and tiring day, I picked up a Jamaican patty before they closed (6ish?), found myself a seat in the hall and started munching. The first time I bit into it, I immediately thought of meat pie and shephard's pie. The second and third bites I thought to myself, okay, this isn't that bad. But then half way through it, I was struggling to chew and swallow the damn thing. The spicy patty that I got wasn't all that spicy, but the heat overwhelmed any flavour that was there. It just wasn't fun to eat.

The next week, my friends and I were walking up to class when one of them decided to pick up a patty. He asked for a 'patty in a bun', but they were sold out of buns. I had no idea what that was, so I asked him, and he told me that it was literally a Jamaican patty in a bun. Genius! He said that the bun really made it taste better, after I told him about my experience I had the previous week. Hmm.. okay, I'll give it another go.

Later that week, I found myself walking by the Ackee Tree on my way back from class. There was a pretty long line up, as it was noon. They couldn't have run out of buns yet... I turn myself around and stood in the line up. As I was waiting, I noticed that people were cutting the line and just went up to the cash and asked for a patty, paid, and then left. So after watching a couple of more people do this, I move toward the cash and ask for a spicy patty in a bun. The line was for people who wanted to order everything else. I found myself a seat nearby and looked at the patty in a bun. Will you end up in my stomach or the garbage this time? I took a bite. I was shocked. I stared at it again. I took another bite and then another.
The light, fluffy bread tasted sweet. I was expecting some crappy bread that was close to it's expiry date, but this was almost the exact opposite. It was so soft and moist. Mmm... my friend was right, it made the patty taste so much better. It only costs $3 too! Add a pop and it's $4. But since I'm a thrifty student, I went to the bookstore for a $1 Arizona's Ice Tea. I watered it down, like I do with all juices, and enjoy my watered-down-iced-tea for the rest of the day.

Since that first one, I've had many, many more. They usually run out of spicy patties by the afternoon though, so I open up my mild patty in the bun and add some of their green spicy hot sauce. I've tried squirting a bit of ketchup, too, just to help bring back the spiciness. I think it's the best thing on campus. Quick, delicious, cheap and healthy. Okay, maybe not the last one.

Now I'm one of those students eating a Jamaican patty.

~ Christine


250 Humber College Blvd.
Etobicoke, ON
Across the bookstore, beside the large screens.


  1. That looks delish!
    I've never heard of a jamaican patty before.

  2. Really? You aren't missing out on much. The filling is pretty much meat pie filling with a bit of Jamacian spices. Actually, meat pie filling is better because it actually tastes like meat and not mushy mystery meat.

  3. Christine,

    I still think you're being robbed. You'll never experience a 'proper' patty and coco bread (the bun) until you have one from Tastee's in Jamaica. I live on them when I'm on the island. The crap they serve here is like spicy mud in a flaky crust. I hope you get the opportunity one day to have a real patty in Jamaica.

  4. Jamilah, I definitely want to make a trip down to have the real thing. I know that it isn't the real thing, but the bread is so good! It's not even about the patty itself, cause it's gross, it's all about the coco bread.

    Ya know, I don't think I've had a patty since this post. Everytime I go grab something from this place, I always get one of their combos (replacing their rice with the coco bread) yum!


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