by Audrey Thorne ’19
My insatiable hunger for Jamaican patties stems from a visit to my friend John (often identified on campus as Jamaican John) over winter break and has remained for so long, largely because of the inaccessibility of Jamaican food in the states. Though he found my addiction to jerk chicken and Jamaican patties comical during my visit, after a little pestering, he has since come to my rescue by showing me his favorite Jamaican place in Massachusetts.
All the way in Somerville, Some ‘Ting Nice Caribbean Restaurant delivers to Harvard dorms online and through Door Dash for a small fee. With an expansive menu written partially in Jamaican Patois and partially in other Caribbean Patois languages, Some Ting Nice is a Caribbean gem that I am amazed John was able to find outside of the Harvard bubble.
Less than half an hour after pressing the order button for the most quintessentially Jamaican dishes I could find, Door Dash delivered an order of two patties with coco bread, jerk chicken, and sides of both fried dumplings and rice and beans, often referred to as rice and peas.
First we cracked open the jerk chicken. Throughout my time in Jamaica I stuck to what John considered the “bad” jerk chicken, flavourful but unspicy. In comparison, the spicy, mouthwatering collection of white meat chicken reads as far more Jamaican than the jerk chicken I ate in the country itself. John, unenthused by American food in general, even conceded that Some ‘Ting Nice’s jerk chicken “can pass” for Jamaican.
Saving the patties for last, I decided to try the sides. Fried dumplings dubbed “unlike an actual fried dumpling” by John were indistinguishable to me from real fried dumplings as a non-native. Fluffy inside, crispy outside. They perfectly complemented the jerk chicken, contrasting the intense authentic spice. I also found the rice and beans tasted best mixed in with the flavourful jerk chicken sauce.
Last, and most highly anticipated, I cracked open the patties, one chicken and one beef. Upon unwrapping my patties I discovered the consistency largely varies from that of a Jamaican patty, being solid rather than flakey on the outside. Disoriented, I ventured a bite. The chicken tasted much like an American meat patty, and though delicious, did not quench my thirst for a Jamaican patty. I decided to try the beef patty. Perhaps this one will be the one, I hoped. Yes. Once my teeth penetrated the solid outside, the Jamaican influence in seasoning the beef became palpable. Though the outside texture was different, the consistency of the meat in this patty was the same as those I was eating just a month ago. Wrapped in a plush cocobread, I was transported back to eighty degree weather and sandy beaches.
Some ‘Ting Nice really is something nice to eat when you feel like taking a break from your regular spots in the square.