In 2017, white Eugene-based acupuncturist and business owner Karen (yes, Karen) Taylor launched her rice porridge company Breakfast Cure, the flavored rice customers’ pre-packaged packs make in slow-cooker congee. However, Taylor’s business has only recently attracted attention Number of people across the country, and not in a good way: during the last week, positions Feather social media Criticism of Taylor for the way he and his company have appropriated congee has circulated, and others have made the communities that eat it over the centuries.
Over the weekend, Twitter user Casey Ho tweeted a screenshot thread From the company’s website, in which the company markets its crowdsales to “delight the Western palate.” In Blog post from company website She has changed sinceTaylor wrote, “I’ve spent a lot of time modernizing it for the Western palette—(sic) making a congee you can eat and look delicious and it doesn’t feel foreign. … I’ve tried all these different combinations.” I’ve spent more than 20 years trying out congee to find the truly delicious, healthy ones that work in our modern world.” Many might argue that congee is already does “Work in our modern world,” noting that congee is eaten by hundreds if not millions of people around the world, United States includes.
Ho’s tweets went viral, and other Twitter users began to publicly criticize the company for its approach to the dish and the cultures around it. “@BreakfastCure can defy Chinese tradition and cuisine without worrying about being called ‘disgusting’ because white women are on top,” Frankie Huang writes in a Twitter thread. “My problem isn’t with the existence of these $15 kanji packs, ppl can eat whatever they want and boil the cereal is not a Chinese thing. It’s their Chinese culture-focused marketing that’s too harsh.”
Taylor has since publicly apologized, and the website has been significantly edited since Ho published the initial screenshot. “Until recently, we have not supported and respected the Asian American community, and for that we are deeply sorry,” a statement on the website said. “We take full responsibility for any language on our website or in our marketing and have taken immediate steps to address this and educate ourselves, not only to create delicious breakfast food, but a better one for the AAPI community.” Becoming an ally has modified its mission.” Taylor chose not to speak on the record in an interview with Eater Portland.
The impact and harm of cultural appropriation has been Covered On Large scale By countless websites And Publications; Dakota Kim’s essay Paste it direct reference Cooks BurritosPortland Burrito Cart Off That Inspired another national conversation about white women benefiting from the work and culture of people of color. Kim writes, “It is a culturally honorable thing for a cook to deeply explore food over time, profit-sharing or paying for recipes, establishing a foundation or scholarship for street food vendors and their children.” do,” writes Kim. “It’s not always what you do, but how you do it.”
• breakfast treat [Official]
• Casey Ho’s Twitter Thread [Twitter]
• White woman who made ‘better’ Congee apologizes, continues to sell [NBC]
• We’re having the wrong conversation about food and cultural appropriation [P]