Sweet Apple’s Dave Sweetapple Remembers: Jamaican Beef Patties

sweetapplelogoSweet Apple is more than just a question of Cobra Verde’s John Petkovic and Tim Parnin having some teenage kicks with Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis and Witch’s Dave Sweetapple. It’s the answer to the heartache, grief and depression that led Petkovic to drive from Cleveland to Vermont, where he rediscovered the healing powers of rock ‘n’ roll with some help from his friends. Love & Desperation (Tee Pee) isn’t a fountain of youth, but it’ll do in a pinch: a combination of stomping ’70s arena-rock riffs, Petkovic’s well-honed T Rex swagger and Mascis’ hard-wired guitar leads servicing lurid tales of sex, drugs and vampires. The members of Sweet Apple will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our Q&A with Petkovic.


Sweetapple: I get asked a lot about my favorite foods: “Hey, Dave, what’s you favorite dish?” I don’t know why I get that question; it’s not like I wear T-shirts emblazoned with meat products or cakes or anything edible for that matter. For the longest time, I would kinda shrug and give some vague answer, being slightly non-committal. I mean, asking that sort of question is like talking about the weather. It just doesn’t matter, and truthfully no one really gives a shit. But then one day a couple of years ago, I realized that after years of pondering, I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t a dish as such, and if anything it’s more of a personal food item that one doesn’t even share with others. It was the Jamaican beef patty. Years ago, I lived in Toronto, where there is a massive Jamaican population. Jamaican bakeries are all over the place, and you can buy beef patties in many parts of the city. I got hooked. I craved. Then years later, when I started going to New York City on a regular basis, trips to the patty shops became an integral part of the visit. It was tough to not get tricked into buying the week-old soggy bright-yellow blobs in the deli case of the average Lower East Side bodega. A patty is not a patty. You have to travel to the West Indian neighborhoods to really score. Parts of Brooklyn are key spots, but there is one particular place way out in the depths of Jamaica, Queens, called Wilson West Indian Bakery. The owner is an older Jamaican dude named Ras Dougie. Nicest guy in the world. His patties are made of the freshest beef, ground to an almost creamy perfection, incorporating a mouthwatering blend of spices and Scotch bonnet peppers, all wrapped in a flakey layered crust and cooked until golden brown. The stuff of dreams.

Video after the jump.