Jamaicans and their tastes are indeed quite unique. KFC and Burger King, for instance, will never go out of business in Jamaica. If they didn't tank during the Asian bird flu and mad cow disease scares, then I don't foresee them going under any time soon. But so many other food franchises from abroad came, saw and quickly retreated. Nah call nuh name, but some even tried more than once and still couldn't get it done.
That's because once Jamaicans get to liking something, they are going to eat it no matter what. The flipping rats could be sitting in the corner impatiently waiting for you to finish with the bone, the patron won't care. Even though more Jamaicans are trying new dishes, many of those fancy-schmancy restaurants have come and gone, never to return. But the good old burger and fried chicken can't lose. It's just the way we are. Even more amusing to me is how we want our stuff prepared. Ever been in a line and heard the person ask for extra curry gravy on the rice. By the time the server is finished, the rice grains, if they had lungs, would be drowning.
But this lady I saw recently takes the figurative cake. I was in a Mother's outlet where the server was trying desperately to find the perfect patty for a female customer. She was adamant about the exact kind of patty she wanted. Her preference? Crispy. Very crispy. In fact, based on her description, it sounds like the more burned the patty was, the better. I felt sorry for the poor baker around the back because your whole life you are taught NOT to burn your products. The chap on the serving line wasn't having any fun either, as he had to be inspecting every beef patty that came out; then showing that to the increasingly frustrated woman to see if it met her crispy standards.
Bottom line, we just have a certain way of doing things, even the way we eat. Where else do you see people put two patties in a coco bread to devour them? We even have combinations I don't see how they go together. Bulla and pear? Bun and fish? How about a little corned pork to go with your ackee and saltfish (which in itself is a weirdish combo)? It's just part of our Jamaicanness!
By the way, after I got my unburned, too-white-for-her patties and took my leave, Ms Crispy still hadn't found a patty to her liking. To be honest, I believe if I passed that outlet 30 minutes later, I would have seen her in there, still waiting for her crisp, aka more than slightly burned, patty. Yum!
Tell me how you like your patty at firstname.lastname@example.org.