This year marks the 35th anniversary of Toronto’s infamous Patty Wars. The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) will mark the occasion with a giveaway of delicious Jamaican patties, while celebrating the city’s unique connection to Jamaican cuisine.
In recognition of Toronto’s annual Patty Day, the island destination has teamed up with local patty vendor Patties Express to give out 500 free patties (limit of one per customer) starting at 11 a.m. on Sunday, February 23. The first 500 customers to arrive at the Patties Express takeout shop at 4 Elm Street will be treated to a free signature Jamaican beef patty, featuring savoury spiced ground meat wrapped in a flaky pastry crust.
“Patties are a staple part of Jamaican cuisine and the people of Toronto have embraced this iconic pastry in a big way,” says Angella Bennett, Regional Director, Canada, for the Jamaica Tourist Board. “We encourage all Torontonians to celebrate Patty Day on February 23 and savour the unique island flavours of Jamaica.”
Toronto has a unique history with the humble Caribbean snack food dating back more than three decades. In February 1985, the infamous ‘Patty Wars’ took over the city when several local patty vendors received word from federal food inspectors that they could no longer refer to the pastry pockets as “beef patties” because the official definition of the term was reserved for ground beef patties. A battle ensued between local food inspectors and Jamaican patty shops until negotiations were held and vendors were eventually allowed to continue using the term without fear of harsh penalties. To celebrate the peaceful resolution of this delicious dispute, February 23 was proclaimed to be Toronto’s official Patty Day.
From savoury meat patties and juicy jerk to spicy peppered shrimp and rich oxtail stew, Jamaica’s vibrant cultural heritage and unique regional cuisine make the tropical destination a must-visit spot for foodies. To learn more about Jamaica’s diverse culinary offerings and the numerous food and drink festivals taking place on the island throughout the year, visit https://www.visitjamaica.com/feel-the-vibe/cuisine.