Secret Life of Canada

A patty by any other name isn't a patty

In 1985, the Canadian government wanted to ban 'patties' to describe Jamaican patties because they thought calling hamburger patties and Jamaican patties the same thing would be too confusing.

What's in a name? Apparently, a whole lotta beef

Several boxes of pre-prepared frozen Jamaican patties. They are coloured red and green.
Boxes of pre-prepared frozen Jamaican patties. (Andrew Coppolino/CBC)

In every part of the world a patty is just a patty, but in Toronto they are often called a "Jamaican Patty" and the why is connected to one of the weirdest stories ever.

In this crash course, we talk to Patty Vs. Patty director Chris Strikes to learn that in the early 80s inspectors from the Canadian department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs tried to fine store owners for selling patties under the name patty.  A battle ensued and guess who won?

With guest Chris Strikes.

Jamaican beef patties by Tweedy's — a family-run patty shop in Newmarket. (Suresh Doss/CBC)

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