When Kermit the Frog finds El Sleezo Cafe in 1979'sThe Muppet Movie, he murmurs nervously. "Foreign food...but a man must eat. Nevermind that the house's special turned out to be frog legs. Scenes like today's cut room floor
Once upon a time, cinema audiences were allowed to lightheartedly make fun of dishes unfamiliar or exotic.
But in today's unrelentingly witty world of indigenous food purity, lighthearted jokes are strictly forbidden, or worse, non-Western European food not cooked by native-born chefs. The cuisine is either a culinary faux pas or a malicious rip-off, or both.
Messing with the country's traditional noodle-making methods is cultural extinction. Borrowing the culinary traditions of other countries is the same as colonial looting and profiteering.
Last week, the death of Diana Kennedy, the cookbook author considered the world's most knowledgeable expert on Mexican cuisine, at the age of 99, brought this issue to the fore. It was taken squarely: "She never considered her authority over Mexican food as a white British woman."The New York Times claimedas if Kennedy The Los Angeles Times also reported that frequent accusations of "cultural appropriation" leveled against Kennedy left her with a tainted legacy.
Thus, if a non-Mexican celebrates the country's culinary bounty more lovingly than anyone else, it honors her. It becomes the basis for excommunication from the world of gastronomy.
On thetakeout.com on July 28, food writer Angela L. Pagan outraged that "the cultural roots of Latinx food are being washed away on TikTok." 132}Social media sites need to "stop messing around" with "Latinx" dishes such as esquito, she says.
"On TikTok, like nearly every recipe on the planet on her blog, [esquites] are advertised as 'Mexican Street Corn Salad,'" Pagan complains of her . "Yes, the dish itself is Mexican street food, but it had a name and didn't need a new one...we don't call spaghetti 'Italian sauce noodles'." Why rename this traditional Mexican dish?"
That's right. Why call the dish by a different name, even if it helps people understand and appreciate what it really is. The South Korean-born chefs who were detained "have been criticized by other Korean-Americans for not being Korean enough,"the New York Times reported July 31.I don't use kimchi very often. Then don't call it Korean.
But anger is selective. For example nobody was thrilled about Midwest chef Michael White steering Marea's Italian kitchen. Or Chicago-born Daniel Rose runs the show at the all-French Le Coucou.
Wrath is reserved for the supposed 'exploiters' of Third World food culture by evil and greedy Westerners.
Driven by famous British chef Jamie Oliver. He revealed earlier this year that he will be hiring "acultural appropriation expert" to bless his menu.
Oliver was beaten because his "Punchy Jerk His Rice" did not contain all the ingredients in the traditional Jamaican Jerk His marinade. As he told The Sunday Times of London culture magazine, "Your immediate reaction is to be defensive and say, 'For the love of God, really.'
Not everyone is intimidated. Eric Ripert, chef at three-Michelin-starred restaurant Le Bernardin, wrote a few complaints on Instagram in January .Ripert was wisely tight-lipped about what Eater.com called a "backlash".
There are some other signs of sanity. Toure, a writer for the black-American news site The Grio, said after some introspection, the white owner of Brooklyn's Gumbo Bros. determined not to be racist about Historically in African-American cuisine.
Toure said Gumbo he loved Brothers and lamented their recent closure.
"They weren't turning us off."He wrote"The food was real. I'm not racist."
Nor does anyone simply love food that isn't theirs, even if they live frugally.