National Jamaican Patty Day, which takes place on the first Saturday in August each year, is a celebration to make all food lovers — and their taste buds — sit up and pay attention. This year, it takes place on August 5. For those who aren’t familiar with this delicious snack yet, Jamaican Patties are flaky, spicy, savory pastries that are found everywhere you get West Indian cuisine. These patties are filled with a variety of flavorful meats like ground beef, chicken, or seafood, and are seasoned differently too. What makes it authentically Jamaican is the addition of special Caribbean herbs and spices — the fiery Scotch bonnet chili is one common ingredient.
History of National Jamaican Patty Day
Little did the world know that when British colonialists set sail for the Caribbean, they would also be launching a food craze that endures well into the 21st century. The Europeans introduced the delicious-and-convenient Cornish pasty to the locals, who then adopted this dish as their own.
As with most dishes, the traditional Cornish beef-and-potato baked pastry was further evolved by the Indian indentured laborers and African slaves in the country. From the Africans came the cayenne pepper, and the Indians added curried filling to the mix. Then, a uniquely Jamaican ingredient — a hot pepper called the Scotch bonnet — turned the Cornish pastry into the Jamaican patty. This easy snack soon became ubiquitous with convenient food and has stayed the staple food for many office workers over the years.
As globalization opened up avenues for work overseas, more and more Jamaican people immigrated to countries like the U.K., U.S., and Canada during the 1960s and 1970s. Where they went, their delicious Jamaican patty followed. Now, this delicious Jamaican street food is found in every part of the world with a significant West Indian population. This patty has even become a frozen meal across many places in Britain, Canada, and the U.S., and is easily available in many pizza places, grocery stores, and convenience food restaurants. It’s had as a snack, a filling meal when paired with another dish, or a quick and convenient office meal.
Our official celebration came about in May 2015 when Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery founded this day. The company chose to hold this event in August each year to commemorate the day they first opened their business in 1989. Plus, Jamaica celebrates two very important holidays this month – Emancipation Day and Independence Day.
National Jamaican Patty Day timeline
The name 'beef patty is banned by the Canadian government as it doesn't meet their definition of 'patty'; patty vendors and the government reach a compromise and call it 'Jamaican patty.'
Golden Krust is the first Caribbean-owned business to get a franchise license in the U.S.
Seeing how popular of a treat the Jamaican patty is, the Jamaican Government imposes a tax called the General Consumption Tax (G.C.T.) on this snack.
Molly Schuyler eats 38 Jamaican patties in eight minutes to win the Caribbean Food Delights (C.F.D.) World Jamaican Beef Patty Eating Championship title trophy in New York.
National Jamaican Patty Day FAQs
What are Jamaican patties called in Jamaica?
Jamaican patties are mostly called by the same name. The Rastafarian population in Jamaica has their own patty version called the ‘yatti.’
Are Jamaican patties healthy?
Jamaican patties have quite a few calories mainly in their crust, some fat, and some sodium too, making them a less healthy choice. However, when ranked with other fast food, patties come out on top due to their (relatively) healthy fillings.
What food goes with the Jamaican patty?
Some tried-and-tested foods that pair well with Jamaican patties include coco bread, bun and cheese, sugar rolls, and rotis.
National Jamaican Patty Day Activities
Try a scrumptious Jamaican patty
If you've not yet tasted this delicious spicy treat, then National Jamaican Patty Day should be your ground zero. Try out the authentic version if you like spice, and if not, there are always milder versions available too.
Explore Jamaican cuisine
Learn more about Jamaican food, flavors, and cooking. You can even try your hand at making a few Jamaican-inspired dishes to wow your friends and family.
Experiment with Jamaican Patties
Just like their multicultural heritage, Jamaican patties of today are a varied cornucopia of flavors and fillings. Taste a new version (or two), and if you're feeling brave, go ahead and create your own version as well.
5 Delicious Facts About The Jamaican Patty
One patty per 10 people daily
The Jamaican people — numbering just three million people — consume 300,000 patties every day.
That's one large patty
U.K.-based 'Cleone Foods' honored 50 years of Jamaican independence by baking a 50-inch Jamaican patty.
What's in a color?
Everything, apparently — as the Jamaican patty is not called authentic without its distinctive yellow shade, which it gets from either the curry filling, an egg yolk mixture, or turmeric.
The first Jamaican patty eating contest
Brooklyn's Labor Day celebrations in 2015 held a special event — the first annual Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill National Jamaican Patty Eating Contest.
Jamaica loves the patty
So much that they've got drive-thru restaurants that sell nothing but this fast food.
Why We Love National Jamaican Patty Day
It's the ultimate street food
At least this is what most Jamaicans believe. We can certainly see their point — the patty is flaky, crunchy, and filled with flavor.
It's a reflection of Jamaica
Particularly, the nation's long and multicultural identity. They took an immigrant's dish and turned it into a local favorite.
There's a patty everywhere you go
Jamaican patties are unique in their taste. And for those who cannot access this little snack, they can try the global versions — Spanish empanadas, Indian samosas, Greek spanakopitas, and even Puerto Rican pastelillos. No one misses out (technically).
National Jamaican Patty Day dates