Carolyn’s spicy patties offer Caribbean flavours for outdoor dining

Popular broadcaster has come up with novel snacks based on her passion for the food, music and culture

By Sam Butler
Saturday, 30th April 2022, 3:00 pm

Artisan entrepreneur Carolyn Stewart, among the most popular broadcaster son Radio U105, has come up with novel snacks for outdoor dining this spring and summer that are based on her passion for the food, music and culture of her beloved Caribbean.

The BBQ weather of the past few weeks has certainly given everyone here a much needed dose of the vitamin D we’ve been lacking all winter and revived enthusiasm for outdoor dining.

Carolyn already runs Totally Hot NI, a successful small business specialising in spicy Caribbean sauces, seasonings, relishes and ‘jerks’ that add a tasty ‘kick’ to meals and snacks and have won a host of coveted awards, including UK Great Taste ‘stars’, for their high quality and rich flavours. She set up the business in 2016 and has now carried this venture forward into the creation of delicious Jamaican patties that are perfect, in particular, for outdoor dining this summer.

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Caribbean food lover and artisan entrepreneur Carolyn Stewart

“I have long loved the variety of delicious and spicy patties that are being produced especially in Jamaica, an island I visit regularly,” Carolyn explains.

A keen and adventurous cook, Carolyn has carried her love for the bold, rich and colourful flavours of the islands into the new products which were developed during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

“I spent some time in Jamaica learning how to make them from experienced chefs and had planned to introduce then here before the coronavirus pandemic arrived. I continued to develop my recipes during the lockdowns which impacted my entertainment business and to have them ready when everything started to return to something like normal,” she adds.

The new hot and tasty snacks, she explains, are made from “golden flaky pastry filled with hot spicy mince steak, chicken or vegetables to produce delicious hand-held food using spices from the Caribbean”. The key seasoning is usually the Jamaican bonnet pepper which gives the patties a fiery kick.

Carolyn’s Totally Hot NI patties

“In Jamaica, the patty is more than just a snack: it’s a filling breakfast or lunch and can even be eaten for dinner,” continues Carolyn.

While diners and ‘street food’ fans in the Caribbean also have a choice of goat meat, Carolyn hasn’t included this distinctive flavour in her current portfolio…yet! Goat, of course, is the world’s most widely consumed meat. In Northern Ireland, Broughgammon Farm in Ballycastle has blazed a trail of original goat products including burgers and tacos from its own flock.

The new Northern Ireland patties are based on Carolyn’s own and unique recipes from her experience holidaying in Jamaica and other parts of the Caribbean over many years. She set up creating the hot snacks in her mission to bring the rich and spicy flavours of the Caribbean islands to food lovers in Northern Ireland to add to their own meals.

The new patties represent a significant diversification for the small and highly innovative business which is based near Holywood in Co Down. She has created the recipes for all her original products in her vey well-equipped home kitchen overlooking Belfast Lough.

The sauces are now produced for the energetic broadcaster by local manufacturer, while she continues to make the patties at home. The popularity of the new patties with delis and smaller grocers here has led her to look for a commercial kitchen that will enable her to expand production of the spicy snacks.

Most cultures tend to have handheld snacks such as the ubiquitous sausage rolls or pasties here, empanadas in Spain, Portugal and Argentina, tacos in Mexico, samosas in India, doner kebabs in Turkey and America’s inevitable hotdogs and burgers. Patties were said to have originated in Jamaica from pasties brought by Cornish immigrants and the spices by Indian labourers and African slaves.

Carolyn’s delicious patties join an impressive portfolio of six original spicy sauces, pickles and seasonings, all of which are available from the company’s on-line shop.

The energetic businesswoman is now busy marketing her patties around Northern Ireland to shops and smaller grocers in the spare time she has from running a very successful radio show every day and also from her extensive entertainment business.

The original products being marketed by Carolyn are now readily available in delis, farm shops and independent grocers across Northern Ireland. “I love visiting delis and other shops to talk to them about my patties and, of course, my sauces and seasonings. They are great for feedback about the new patties, which, I am delighted to say, is extremely positive. Everyone has been keen to try the patties and every visit brings a new customer,” she adds.