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Awakened gourmets go crazy with 'cultural appropriation'

When Kermit the Frog stumbles upon El Sleezo Cafe, the quintessential Mexican joint in 1979’s “The Muppet Movie,” he nervously mutters, “Foreign food… but man must eat.” . Never mind that the house special turned out to be frog legs.

Once upon a time, it was allowed to lightheartedly make fun of cuisines unfamiliar or exotic to moviegoers.

But in today’s unrelentingly witty world of indigenous culinary purity, lighthearted jokes are strictly prohibited. It’s either a culinary fake or an evil rip-off of it, or both.

Messing around with a country’s traditional noodle recipe is tantamount to cultural extinction. Borrowing culinary traditions from other countries is the same as colonial looting and profiteering.

Despite spending years in Mexico and becoming the nation’s culinary authority, Kennedy’s obituary highlighted her whiteness and Britishness.
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British chef Jamie Oliver is so concerned about offending people with his food that he actually hires a cultural appropriation expert to approve his menu.
British chef Jamie Oliver is so concerned about offending people with his food that he actually hires a cultural appropriation expert to approve his menu.
Axel Heimken/Photo Alliance via Getty Images

am i exaggerating? Ha!

Last week, the death of cookbook author Diana Kennedy, considered the world’s most knowledgeable expert on Mexican cuisine, at the age of 99, brought the issue head-on. “She never considered her authority over Mexican food as a white British woman,” claimed the New York Times, as if Kennedy stripped the country’s farmland bare at the Queen’s orders. The Los Angeles Times also noted that the frequent accusations of “cultural appropriation” directed at Kennedy left him with a tarnished legacy.

If a non-Mexican celebrates the country’s culinary bounty more lovingly than anyone else, is that reason to excommunicate her from the world of fine gastronomy?

Mexican food such as 'esquito' should always be called by its correct name. One Food her writer was outraged to see it referred to as
Mexican food such as ‘esquito’ should always be called by its correct name. One Food her writer was outraged to see it referred to as “Mexican Street Corn Salad” on TikTok.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Apparently yes.

On July 28, food writer Angela L. Pagan wrote on thetakeout.com that “the cultural roots of Latinx food are being washed away on TikTok.” she says. so far Called by its rightful name and not described as anything else.

“TikTok — almost every recipe blog on the planet — [esquites] It’s advertised as ‘Mexican Street Corn Salad,'” complains Pagan. “Yes, the dish itself is Mexican street food, but it had a name and didn’t need something new bland…we don’t call spaghetti ‘Italian sauce noodles’.” Why rename this classic Mexican dish?”

Renowned French chef Eric Ripert was attacked on Instagram for failing to cook Vietnamese pho in authentic style. He wisely did not take the bait.
Renowned French chef Eric Ripert was attacked on Instagram for failing to cook Vietnamese pho in authentic style. He wisely did not take the bait.
Instagram @ericripert

That is correct. Why call the dish by another name, even though it helps people understand and understand what it really is.

Meanwhile, Korean-born chefs who were adopted into American families have been criticized by “other Korean-Americans for not being Korean enough,” The New York Times reported in July. reported on the 31st. Then don’t call it Korean!

But anger is selective. For example, no one was thrilled about American Midwest chef Michael White steering Marea’s Italian kitchen. We operate.

Anger is reserved for the supposed “exploiters” of third world food culture by evil and greedy Westerners.

One sign of sanity: The Black News site praised the recently closed Gumbo Brothers in Brooklyn.
One sign of sanity: The Black News site praised the recently closed Gumbo Brothers in Brooklyn.
Instagram

Fearing being vilified for such a “sin,” famed British chef Jamie Oliver has hired a “cultural appropriation expert” to bless his menu, he says. He made the announcement earlier this year.

Oliver was beaten up because his “Punchy Jerk Rice” didn’t contain all the ingredients in a traditional Jamaican jerk marinade. As he told The Sunday Times of London’s Culture magazine, “Your immediate reaction will be defensive and you’ll say, ‘For the love of God, really?’ We don’t want to offend anyone.”

Not everyone is frightened. Eric Ripert, chef at his three-Michelin-starred restaurant, Le He Bernardin, said on Instagram in January that his interpretation of pho wasn’t an exact replica of a Vietnamese noodle dish, so some complained of Ripert wisely kept quiet about what Eater.com called a “backlash.” What Oliver didn’t know, he knew that defending himself would only fuel more insanity.

The Gumbo Brothers has historically specialized in gumbo, a dish of African Americans, but black critic Toure rightly wrote,
The Gumbo Brothers has historically specialized in gumbo, a dish of African Americans, but black critic Toure rightly wrote, “White people who love black culture are not racist.” .
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There are some other signs of sanity. Toure, a writer for the black-American news site The Grio, found after some introspection that the white owner of Brooklyn’s Gumbo Brothers (which had a black chef) had historically focused on Africans. Decided not to be racist for running a place. American food.

Toure said he loved Gumbo Brothers and lamented their recent closure.

“They weren’t turning us off,” he wrote. “The food was real. White people who love black culture are not racists.”

Even if you live a modest life, no one simply loves food that isn’t theirs.

scuozzo@nypost.com

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