Padma Lakshmi responds to writer who criticized Indian cuisine


Padma Lakshmi had a short but scathing response on Twitter to an opinion piece describing Indian food as “based entirely on one spice” and tasting “like something that could knock a vulture off a wagon of meat. “.

The article, “You Can’t Make Me Eat These Foods,” which was written by Washington Post humorous columnist Gene Weingarten, focuses on several foods he says he refuses to eat and why. Many foods, including Old Bay seasonings, anchovies, and hazelnuts, have been portrayed just as harshly, but many on social media have criticized Weingarten for oversimplifying such varied cuisine, even in such a way. humorous.

“The Indian subcontinent has greatly enriched the world, giving us chess, buttons, the mathematical concept of zero, shampoo, modern day nonviolent political resistance, falls and scales, the Fibonacci sequence , rock candy, cataract surgery, cashmere, USB ports… and the world’s only ethnic cuisine entirely based on a single spice, ”Weingarten wrote in the article published Aug. 19.“ If you like them. Indian curries, yes you like Indian food! “

“If you think Indian curries taste like something that could knock a vulture off a meat wagon, you don’t like Indian food. I don’t understand, as a culinary principle,” continued Weingarten. “It’s like the French passed a law requiring every dish to be covered with crushed and mashed snails. (Personally, I wouldn’t have any problem, but you could do it, and I would sympathize.)”

Lakshmi replied, “on behalf of 1.3 billion people”, referring to the people of India, “please fuck yourself”.

Lakshmi added that Weingarten “clearly” needed “education on spices, flavor and taste”, offering his book “The Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs”, and asked in a follow-up tweet why the Post was endorsing a colonizer’s “hot take” that characterized all Indian food as being based on one spice.

Author Shireen Ahmed accused Weingarten of using the column to “spit out” racism and misrepresent Indian food, wishing him bad Indian food forever.

Others on social media were quick to point out that Indian food is extremely varied and includes a variety of flavors and textures. For example, curry powder, which might be the “spice” he was referring to, is a blend of many spices, including (but not limited to) cilantro, turmeric, and cumin.

Sunday, Weingarten posted a follow-up tweet link to the article again.

“I took a lot of perspective on my aversion to Indian food in today’s column, so tonight I went to Rasika, DC’s best Indian restaurant,” he wrote. “The food was beautifully prepared but always swam with the herbs and spices that I despise the most. I take nothing away.”

And on Monday afternoon, Weingarten tweeted an apology for the article.

“From start to finish, plus the illo, the column was about the fact that I’m an ignorant, whiny kid face,” Weingarten said. “I should have named just one Indian dish, not the whole cuisine, and I see how insulting that brush was. Apologies. (Plus, yes, curries are a mixture of spices, not spices. .) “



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