Zelda and I travel to Jamaica, the country where my birth father was born. We take in the sun, meet up with some relatives and learn how to make Veggie Jamaican Patties.
Wagwan! I’m Jade, and with me, rain or intense Jamaican sunshine is Zelda. Dogs can get sunburns too. We are on dazzling Negril Beach in Jamaica. This beach only first became a hotspot in the 70s, and by the mid-80s, it was in full-on tourism boom mode.
I think the crystal blue waters make it obvious why. I’ll be diving right in there momentarily. Hope you packed a swimsuit, Z! My birth father is Jamaican, and I’ve only been here 48 hours, but I can definitely feel the strong connection to this island. The laid-back attitude, the spices and flavors in their food, the sun beating down… I can feel my heritage down to my bones.
Not everyone is a fan, though. Today’s hashtag tra-dish is the Jamaican beef patty, the true embodiment of Jamaican flavor. A flaky and iconically yellow crust envelops a spicy ground meat filling. We’re using vegan ground beef, but packing all the spices and seasoning of the real thing. The two most important flavors that make this meal-on-the-go truly traditional are the turmeric in the pastry crust and the Scotch bonnet peppers in the filling.
The turmeric powder gives the crust a golden, yellowish-orange color, an earthy yet spicy flavor. The Scotch peppers, full disclosure, are very hot, but with a surprisingly sweet taste. You can choose to leave them out, but you know I’m going to encourage you to try them at least once. What have you got to lose? Nothing.
Except maybe a few taste buds and a few gallons of sweat. Totally worth it. I made you one without peppers, but I’ve lost a little respect for you. At home in NYC, I make vegan Jamaican beef patties when I have a busy week, and I know I’ll probably have to eat my lunch on the subway or bus. It’s easy to pack and provides that satisfying carbs and protein combo.
Speaking of home, that’s where we’re headed next week. It’s been an amazing journey, and we didn’t hit nearly enough countries, if you ask me. Or Zelda. I’m already planning my next journey. So where did we skip that you were hoping to see?
Drop a comment. Find the recipe below and join us next time. Same Jade, same Zelda. Different country and recipe. Me gaga.
Ready to cool off?