As a privileged white male, I am honestly at a loss to respond appropriately to discussion of culinary appropriation and its equally evil twin, culinary imposition, a notion that, I think, only Rachel Laudan seems to have advanced.
Of course the feelings that appropriation arouses are genuine and heart felt and should not be ignored. Equally, it cannot possibly be the case that only people who belong to a certain culture can prepare the dishes of that culture. I understand that it is yet one more of the thousand cuts inflicted, mostly unthinkingly, on less privileged people. That hurts. And if it raises awareness and promotes change, all for the good. Somehow, though, that topic seems to be eclipsing all others, as my gleanings this week show. Perhaps that is just people leaping onto a journalistic bandwagon before it is too late. Perhaps it is really a sign of greater thoughtfulness. In the end, though, does it affect how we perceive the food on our plate? That’s a question I don’t see being discussed.
Is this something you think about? I’d love to know what you think. Comment here, email me, send a voice memo, anything. I’ll see if I can make something of it in the end.