Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Cultural Appropriation in Food Choice and in Other Things

The term "cultural appropriation" has come into vogue lately; and with anything current, it is subject to lampooning.  This is helped by the outrageousness of people who claim this is taking place, willy-nilly.

For example, recently Lena Dunham said that sushi served at Oberlin College in Ohio is 'cultural appropriation.' Apparently, if prepared and served to Caucasians by Caucasians, this constitutes this sin of 'cultural appropriation.' Oh my God! Does this mean that we shouldn't dare to cook ethnic foods from other cultures? Does my making Swedish meatballs commit this social sin? And what about Italian cuisine? How about tacos? Italian cuisine can cover a broad range of table offerings; some remote from Florence, Rome, or Naples.

And, hey, what about Cajun foods?  Recently, I encountered on-line a Midwestern jambalaya example of that versatile Cajun dish, jambalaya. While I would prefer a different recipe, any jambalaya does involve the use of whatever ingredients are available, including leftover meats. Not everyone has easy access to andouille or French garlic sausage; but there should not be any impediment to enjoy it.

Here's another version: Midwestern Jambalaya.

But Richard and Rima Collin feature several Platonic ideals of jambalaya.

Anyway, if you want jambalaya, these recipes are among some you might try. And, from this Cajun's view, you're not culturally appropriating my culture. Enjoy!

I wonder if it is snotty, not to mention, impractical, to consider preparing or dining on ethnic foods to be a form of 'cultural appropriation.' No, dudes and dudettes; it's cultural appreciation. Get a life and a brain, pompous ass elitists!

Still, the concept of 'cultural appropriation' is not without merit too. For example, several years ago, Victoria Secret model Karlie Kloss appeared on the runway while wearing an Indian headdress and other accessories.  I can see that Native Americans would not be happy at this, seemingly adapting a ceremonial headdress into a fashion show gimmick. (I think it was over the top, too, and offensive.*) And what about sports teams? What about the Washington Redskins?

For that matter, what about the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns or the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish? There's nary a criticism about these team nickname choices.**

Karlie Kloss and Indian headdress
*I would also criticize her wearing a Masonic apron.

**Probably the worst team nickname there ever was for Pekin (Ill.) High School Chinks! What were those people thinking? Bad kitty!


Mike said...

There's no better example of cultural appropriation than running a pipeline through a cemetery.

Or as has happened here in St. Louis, twice, digging up and moving an African American cemetery to make room for airport expansion.

Liberal Viewpoint said...

Whatever you want to eat, honey! But just because you see no problem with people cooking or eating a variety of dumb southern foods does not mean that other people might feel differently. Do you also do sushi?

John Hill said...

I'm in the cultural appreciation camp.
I would think that others wanting to enjoy ethnic foods or find an appreciation for another's way of life would be a good thing.

Although I spent a little time in the south (New Orleans), I am certainly more of a northern boy. But my, oh my, this northern boy appreciates some good Cajun food! Oh let's face it, I appreciate good food from any ethnic or cultural background and am more than willing to appropriate them into my own diet and meager culinary skills!

Bon appetit, my friend!

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Well, it's plain to see (by anyone with at least two brain cells to rub together) that the USA is now officially Loony Tune Town. We are in the midst of a neo-Maoist cultural makeover.

However, what seems insane on the surface actually makes a great deal of sense (i.e., it's very practical strategy) to someone who understands that the real end game here is the overturning of all things traditional. That is the Big Picture, but it is achieved by millions of little cuts -- slicing and dicing the animal from countless angles.

Sorry I couldn't say anything humorous, but this is no laughing matter, and it's not going to end well for anyone.

~ D-FensDogG
(link:] STMcC Presents 'Battle Of The Bands'

Bilbo said...

I will happily appropriate any kind of food culture that tastes good ... we prepare Thai, Chinese, Cajun, German, French, Mexican, and various Caribbean recipes. I'm with John - I don't view it as "cultural appropriation" but as "cultural appreciation."

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

We should appreciate different food. I like a good curry.

Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

Gorilla Bananas said...

A squaw would never be allowed to wear that headdress. Native tribal cultures were pretty sexist - perhaps they've changed over the years.

What do they think of the Tomahawk Cruise missile? It's definitely cultural appropriation, but it's also a heck of a weapon!

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Karlie looks great as an Indian chief.

Blogoratti said...

Great thoughts and perspective indeed. Sometimes it goes over the top. I enjoy making and eating different cuisine, just eat and appreciate the food.

Anonymous said...

There's no excuse for cultural appropriation. You're making up flimsy excuses.

bakku-shan said...

Ethical hair-splitting?

koi seo said...

"cultural appreciation."


Anonymous said...

OMFG! That chicken jambalaya recipe is so great!