We Heart Jamaican Patties!


 

What comes to mind when you think of must have Toronto foods – the peameal sandwich at Carousel Bakery? The egg tarts at Nova Era, macarons from Nadége, roti from Pam’s? The list goes on. There’s a new taste in town and it’s time you added it to your list.

It’s time you met Stush, the next level Jamaican patty.
 

 

Opal Rowe grew up in Jamaica and moved to England before settling in Toronto in the early 2000’s. In the spring of 2019 she had an idea.

“I couldn’t understand why patties hadn’t evolved. You go to weddings and you see tacos, you go to restaurants and see samosas. Patties are popular but they’ve never changed.” she says. Opal isn’t a chef but she knew what she wanted to create. “I’m not from a food background, but I have always loved cooking, I get a sense of joy feeding people.”

She created the recipe herself, researching dough and fillings. “I wanted something that felt natural, with quality meat. I followed my palate.” She had never worked with dough before, but she dove into research trying different flours and fats until she created her perfect dough.

Her first pop-up was last winter at Cheese Boutique. Her friend Chef Cory Vitiello helped out. Together they sold over 400 patties. “We totally sold out! The reaction was so positive.” She’s done a number of pop-ups since, refining the patties and the concept until she was ready to launch in stores. You can now find Stush Patties in 45 locations. And you may have already seen them written up in the Toronto Star and Blog TO.

The four main fillings are Beef, Jerk Chicken, Lentils & Veggies and Jerk Soy Chick. Two vegan options and two meat options. She also does limited runs of curried shrimp, ackee and salted tofu, swiss chard and eggplant “bacon”, and jerk pulled pork.

“I’m not vegan but I’m very passionate about it. Patties are generally not vegan, the pastry is typically made with lard or beef suet. When I first started making patties I was certain I was going to do vegan patties, so I made a crust that is vegan. I love natural foods and I love to cook seasonally. I’m not thinking vegan, my aim is always to create natural food that tastes good. It just happens to be vegan sometimes.”

The lentil patty is her top seller. “People think, oh lentils- boring! But once they try the lentil patty they love it. The trick is to try it.”

 

 

Now what about the name? “Stush – it’s a Jamaican word that means ‘proper’,” explains Opal, “the equivalent to posh, or bougie. I would have my patties on a plate with a knife and fork with a glass of wine – my friends would say “gosh your stush!” I thought why can’t we have patties for dinner? I’m positioning patties to be stush.”

Her patties might not have inspired knife and fork etiquette just yet, but they have started a new home dining trend.

“I have customers who buy patties to serve at patty parties, like a pizza party, but with patties.”

Now there’s an idea! Find Stush Patties in the freezer by Fiesta’s dairy fridge.

 

 



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