Now that we’ve successfully completed 2016–and if you’re reading this and didn’t survive 2016, my condolences over both your death and your new Chicago voter registration as a Democrat–it’s easy to ignore last year’s insanity. However, the social justice warriors (SJWs) couldn’t go through an entire holiday season without griping about something. Their latest complaint? The kind of cookware actor and comedian Rob Schneider used to cook the Spanish dish called paella.
We just put the Paella in the oven!! Que rico!! pic.twitter.com/skUit0zucG
— Rob Schneider (@RobSchneider) December 25, 2016
Any foodies reading this will immediately see that something is off. Paella is supposed to be cooked in a special metal pan called a paella pan, not a glass casserole dish.
The fact that Schneider put this on Twitter all but invited criticism from the snobbish foodies out there. And that’s indeed what got from both foodies … and SJWs. Apparently, he’s also guilty of cultural appropriation.
It is hard to talk about cultural appropriation in food. For one, most cuisines have been developed as a result of the influences of many peoples, and hail from particular territories rather than countries. To call paella a staple of Spanish cuisine is probably misguided, since the dish is from the Mediterranean region of Valencia, and yet it has come to represent Spanish cuisine abroad. In America, centuries of immigrants from all around the globe have given us great creations, from classics like the cheeseburger and the burrito to more modern creations like the croughnut or the Korean taco.
What? Is this a nugget of knowledge?
For once, Salon is actually right about something. Most cuisines have culturally appropriated the crap out of one another, so complaining about taking something from one culture and tweaking it to fit your personal food tastes is ridiculous.
Salon is dead on here. Don’t worry though. It doesn’t last…
Krishnendu Ray, a New York University professor of food studies, argues in “The Ethnic Restaurateur” that white chefs have more freedom to play with other people’s food than chefs of color do, which creates an inherent inequality in the field. To that, I would add that in a world where most people turn to the Internet to find recipes — and English is the de facto lingua franca of the online world — English-speaking chefs not only have more freedom to play around, but they also have the power to ultimately transform traditional dishes from other countries, without so much as an acknowledgement.
Read that paragraph again. The author of this crap really says that English speakers have an advantage because they can read the recipes. Seriously.
Apparently, Google Translate only works in one direction.
As a fan of good food, I tend to try to cook my own food as traditionally as possible, but that’s because I want to, not because some scolding howler monkeys on the internet think I should. The vast majority of people don’t want to buy a specialty pan for one particular dish if they can’t get it to taste good, so they’ll use some kind of baking dish they already have like a glass casserole dish.
While Salon takes aim at people like Schneider and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, the article is really a slap in the face and a warning to the average home cooks. It’s telling them to do things a certain way or be deemed a horrible human being forever.
Rob, you want to know what I say to the idea of you using that dish again for paella?