This Sunday, February 23 is Toronto’s official PATTY DAY. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of biting into a flaky hot spicy beef patty then you know exactly why this delicious treat deserves a day of celebration. But how this Jamaican snack got a holiday of its own is pretty interesting!
Toronto’s Patty Wars
It all started in the 1980’s when several Canadian Jamaican Patty shops got notice from inspectors that their beef patty did not match the technical definition. Jamaican Beef patty vendors would have to rename their snack or face expensive fines.
They had real BEEF!
Patty Shop owners & the Caribbean Canadian community got together in defence of their beloved Beef patties. Then lawyers got involved, even politicians weighed in as the press began to report on the “Toronto Patty Wars.” Finally Canadian officials, the Jamaican Consul-general, the self described patty guardian-lawyer Lloyd Perry and shop owner Davidson held a Patty summit. Here it was decided that shop owners could continue to call their Beef patties by its rightful name as long as it wasn’t simply described as a ‘beef patty’. To celebrate this victory a Patty festival was held on February 23, 1985 in Kensington market. (Read more here)
CELEBRATE WITH FREE BEEF PATTIES THIS SUNDAY
35 years later & we’re still rocking with Jamaican Patties! BIG UP to the Jamaican community for standing up for the ultimate snack food and the Jamaica Tourist board for continuing the celebration with FREE JAMAICAN BEEF PATTIES this Sunday!
Join us at Patties Express located at 4 Elm Street at 11 am on Sunday, February 23rd.
The first 500 people will receive a fresh hot and delicious beef patty! So bring a friend and come early!
In celebration of Jamaican patties and the special place they hold in the heart of Torontonians, Black Foodie is on a PATTY TOUR leading up to the big PATTY DAY giveaway this Sunday! We’ve stepped into several of Toronto’s best patty shops, spoken to experts and learned what makes for a top notch Jamaican Patty.
We asked Jamaican Canadian Chef Adrian Forte & he shared with us,
What makes a great patty is balance. The crust has to be light and flaky and the meat filling needs to be moist, flavourful and not too spicy. All the components have to work harmoniously. My favourite patty is Randy’s patty hands down- there’s no comparison!
Next we spoke with Angela Lawrence, the Chief culture officer of Gusto Restaurant Group & founder of Cook Like a Jamaican who shared,
In my book there are three things that make a perfect Jamaican beef patty. The filling needs to be juicy and well seasoned. It should also have meaty texture, but if you don’t have an amazing crust to wrap around that filling- you’re done. For me, the crust needs to be firm but flaky- I need to be brushing crumbs off my shirt. In Jamaica my favourite patty is the curry chicken patty from Juici and in Toronto i love the likkle beef patties at Chubby’s Jamaican kitchen for their homestyle goodness.
Below are a few snapshots from our Patty tour. Be sure to tune into our Instagram to see more and let us know where you go for a delicious Jamaican Patty. Let us know if you prefer your patty with coco bread or a Ting on the side. And don’t forget to join us this Sunday with the Jamaica Tourist Board in celebrating PATTY DAY!
Caribbean Queen of Patties