For the last several days, I have been enjoying the warm Caribbean Sea in Jamaica. The visit proved predictable in many ways. I heard lots of infectious reggae music, chatted with plenty of friendly Jamaicans, swilled fruity drinks in fluted glasses on sandy beaches, and was nipped by the occasional damned mosquito.

IMG_9849However there was one big surprise. The food was great. Every meal impressed me. I never grumbled about the Jamaican food from my previous trip, but this time around things were different. Fruits and greens were particularly fresh and tasty. Chefs seemed to take a few more chances that paid off. Skills felt well-honed. I found more traditional Jamaican meal options beyond classic jerk chicken, which I am so fond of eating, and everything was served with a sassyness that the locals wear so well.

In fairness, most of my meals on this trip were at either Beaches or Secrets resorts, in Negril and Montego Bay respectively, and remained more resort dining experiences. Still, there was a definite upgrade in my culinary experience.

Jamaicas PattiesWhile the finer dining experience has improved dramatically, I have to say that my favorite meal came from a simple brown wrapper while I had been sitting on a bus.

I discovered the "patty." The patty is a flaky, gooey pastry filled with meat, cheese, veggies or seafood, and is sort of a croissant flattened to the size of a tall, thick Pop Tart, only much better. If I had stayed longer, I would have grown fat.

From my understanding, there are two main chains travelers should be on the look out for: Tastee Patties and Juici Patties. Both chains have numerous locations throughout Jamaica.

Slimming? Probably not. I am guessing there is a cube of butter in each bite of these savory treats (I just made myself drool). Delicious? Totally. I highly recommend making a point of stopping to get one for an authentic taste of Jamaica, and you have no excuse as there is a Tastee Patty at Montego Bay's International Airport.

DGandMaiko_02After stints in antiques, construction, film and as a professional card player, Devin Galaudet has now found his niche combining his passion for travel and writing. Devin's freelance writing is currently featured in a popular trade publication and honors this path as a labor of love. When he is not writing Devin enjoys his fiance, pixie-like ten-year-old daughter and reading books of all kinds.