CM – US author apologizes for column on Indian food and calls himself « D *** head »

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The curry debate is not silent. This time it’s an opinion piece in the Washington Post, written by humor columnist Gene Weingarten, which sparked heated discussion on social media, garnered hundreds of scathing reviews, including from top hostess Padma Lakshmi, and released a correction . The piece, titled « You Can’t Make Me Eat These Foods, » focuses on several foods that Mr. Weingarten rejects, such as hazelnuts and anchovies. The inclusion of Indian foods on this list and the reason the author didn’t like them – it was « the only ethnic cuisine in the world that is insanely based entirely on a spice » – enraged hundreds of Desi Twitter users who said the American writers accused India’s various cuisines of summarizing the different cuisines of India in a tasteless opinion article and of not doing basic research before writing the article.

In the opinion article published on August 19, Mr. Weingarten wrote: “The Indian subcontinent has enriched the world tremendously by he us chess, buttons, the mathematical concept of zero, shampoo, modern nonviolent political resistance, slides and ladders, the Fibonacci sequence, sugar candy, cataract surgery, cashmere, USB connections … and the only ethnic cuisine in the world that is insanely complete based on a spice.

« If you like Indian curries, yay, you like Indian food! If you think Indian curries taste like something that could knock a vulture off the meat cart, then you don’t like Indian food. I don’t get it, as a culinary principle, « he went on. » It’s like the French passed a law that requires that every dish be coated with mashed, mashed snails. (I wouldn’t have a problem with that, personally, but you could and I would be sorry.)

Mr Weingarten went to Twitter yesterday to apologize after facing a severe backlash, saying he sounded like a « whining infantile ignoramus » and admitted that he should have named a single dish he didn’t like instead of painting an entire kitchen with the same brush. no spices. « 

From start to finish plus the illo, the column was about what a tearful infantile ignoramus I am. I should have named a single Indian dish, not the whole kitchen, & I see how insulting that broad brush was. Excuse me. (Also, curries are spice mixes, not spices.)

Screenshots of the now updated article appeared on social media earlier this week. The Indian-American author and TV personality Padma Lakshmi criticized the piece as “lazy and racist” in an Instagram post, in which she made it clear that she had no problem with Mr. Weingarten because he didn’t like Indian food, but because he did « Old colonizer tropes », the culture and the country of 1.3 billion people with relish reduced to a (frankly) weak punch line. « 

She also expressed her disappointment at the Washington Post about the publication of the piece when « there is really no need for something like this to be released in 2021 (or ever). »

Padma Lakshmi wasn’t the only one who had a problem with the piece. On Twitter, Anand Giridharadas, editor of The Ink, criticized , make it unmistakable.

« ‘Curry’ is not a spice. I don’t even know how these people do their research, « he said.

. @Genewingarten thinks Indian food is terrible because it’s based entirely on a spice. Which is basically the opposite of the truth. Pic.twitter.com / sumaGpOBl4

That’s even more stupid than people who say they don’t like Indian food because they don’t like « curry ». ???? A curry is a masala, a * combination * of spices. There is Lots of Masalas. Which one? ????????? ‍♀️

Ah yes. That is why the Masala Dabba was invented: to keep this one spice in several containers. pic.twitter.com/tVPNjGfTed</ The Washington Post has since changed the article. "An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Indian cuisine is based on a spice, curry, and that Indian food consists only of curries, stews. In fact, India's very diverse cuisines use many spice blends and include many other types of dishes. The article has been corrected, "reads a disclaimer on the page.

Mr. Weingarten himself responded to the backlash by saying that he ate at the best Indian restaurant in Washington DC, and although the food was beautifully prepared, it « still swam with the herbs &, which I despise most. I’m not taking anything back. « 

I was very annoyed by my aversion to Indian food in today’s column, so tonight I went to Rasika, DC’s best Indian restaurant. The food was beautifully prepared and still swam with the herbs & Spices I despise the most. I don’t take anything back. Https://t.co/ZSR5SPcwMF

Mr Weingarten’s follow-up tweet did little to calm desi Twitter. « Gene, nobody cares worry about not liking Indian food. The problem is, you said the entire cuisine is based on a spice, « said one Twitter user.

Gene, nobody cares that you don’t like Indian food. The problem is, you said that all the diverse cuisine is based on a spice.

: May your rice be lumpy and dry, your chillies unforgivable, your chai cold and your papadams soft, « said another.

I’m proud of my Pakistani Kitchen. I also love south indian and fusion dishes. It is unfortunate that you were paid to write these tripe and boldly spread your racism. May your rice be lumpy, roti dry, your chillies unforgivable, your chai cold and your papadams soft.

While another American journalist said she was « embarrassed » that Mr. Weingarten repeated his earlier problematic statements.

It’s one thing not to go to a specific kitchen. But to say derogatory that a country of 1.4 billion people and 2,000 ethnic groups could potentially all eat one thing? And then double up? I’m ashamed of myself.

Curry was recently in the news for similar reasons when Indian-American food blogger Chaheti Bansal claimed the word had racist overtones earlier this month. Ms. Bansal, who lives in California, said in her now viral video that the term « curry » has been misused in the West to describe any dish made in the Asian subcontinent.

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