Awesome roundup, thanks. Hilarious at times too, but as he says at the end, ultimately not at all funny.
Laughing through the pain helps, I guess?
It’s what we’ve always done; crack a joke ‘and carry on.’
As a mayonnaise-American, the only time I have ever wanted to disagree with The Root’s take on my ethnicity is when they say we don’t use seasonings. They just nail it every fucking time.
It’s definitely not all White folks; it’s more so a regional thing in my experience, and somewhat related to what part of Europe your ancestors came from.
As a biracial Black person who grew up in Ohio, I can testify that my own mom and Gram used almost nothing but salt & pepper when I was growing up… and consequently their food was bland a/f, unfortunately.
I generally attribute it to their heavy Irish, English and Germanic roots. I was about 8 years old when I consciously figured out why the exact same dishes tasted totally different when other people prepared them; spices were like a revelation.
At the same time I have friends whose people hail from places like New Orleans, and other areas down south, and they can fucking thrown down in the kitchen.
So it just depends.
If someone knows they can ‘burn’, I’m always happy to taste test and vouch for them to get their ‘White Folks Who Can Actually Cook’ pass…
The article was definitely spot-on, and I’m sick as hell of this shit continuing on.
It might also have to do with where one grows up as well. I’m about as white-bread as it gets, mostly Celtic with a bit of Germanic thrown in (and surprisingly little Anglo-Saxon if the DNA test my sister took is accurate*), yet I looooooove spicy food, whether it’s relatively subtle or in-your-face flaming hot. There are always at least two different hot sauces in my fridge, and one of those is usually an El Yucateco habanero sauce.
On the other hand, I grew up in the Chicago area, and one can find restaurants serving dishes from around the world here. Even in my little corner of suburbia, there are some great little taquerías not far away if I don’t feel like making my own tacos, and my local Chinese place has genuine, honest-to-God hot mustard instead of those little packets that are hardly hotter than French’s.
* I actually wish she hadn’t done it due to the privacy implications, but that horse has already bolted out of the barn.
Very true, if your ancestors were of the anglo-saxon variety then yes you are blessed with a heritage of bland food. However if they came from across the channel from France, totally different story.
Also true is where you happen to live, parts of my country would be considered a bland food hell because that’s our local tradition, much like the English. But as a consequence of our colonial past we now have lots of Indonesian and Caribbean foods which are great and use tons of heat.
Unfortunately how we got those delicious foods here is … not a great story.
I do believe that is one of the very first things I stated:
Absolutely. There’s French and African blood on my dad’s side, so there’s a lot of flavor in that part of the family’s cooking.
To be fair… many wypipo don’t use seasoning… and it’s not like the Root are the first people to notice either. This was a half hour comedy special, but I somehow managed to get the book a couple of years ago:
It’s good fun.
Hey, it’s not our fault… back in the old country, all we got was potatoes and cabbage, so salt and pepper felt like a party in our mouth when we came to America (and whitened up)!
I sometimes wonder if there’s a genetic health component to the much-made-fun-of tendency toward
bland un-spicy foods. Specifically, I’m thinking of the skin condition called rosacea. While anyone can have rosacea, it’s most prevalent among White people (especially Irish, English, German, and Scandinavian descent, as I recall). Symptoms can range from mild (think of someone with rosy cheeks) to downright disfiguring. It’s unfortunately a progressive disease (gets worse with each flare-up), and it can even lead to loss of vision if flare-ups occur in the eye. While the cause of rosacea is unknown, spicy foods are among the triggers that can cause flare-ups of the symptoms.
[Edit for clarity]
Sure, but not all whites get rosacea, of course. And I suspect that there are people of all ethnicities that have problems with spicy food. In some cultures, too, that have a tradition of spicy/deeply seasoned food, kids are introduced to that food much earlier, and build up a tolerance/etc. for that kind of food. You also seem to be conflating seasoned with spicy. Not all seasoning is spicy. Those are two different things. Plenty of seasoning doesn’t have heat in it.
Also, it’s a joke, so maybe don’t take the stereotype so seriously? Given the havoc brought on by colonialism/racism/etc, during the period of European/American colonialism, I think we can take a little gentle ribbing about bland food and our lack of dancing skills, yeah?
Yeah, my friends in Pontiac didn’t ever eat anything seasoned strongly either. The soul food in north Detroit when I was there a lot (2000s) tended to be very rich and sweet and not strongly seasoned. Obviously that’s a different story in Houston, or in some historical African-American fusion dishes like delta-style hot tamales which have been extremely spicy since the 19th century.
But I’m pretty sure the traditional rue of thumb is that the less privileged the group the more complex and interesting the food becomes, as rich people get better ingredients that are kept more simple.
You’re right, I meant to say “un-spicy”, not “bland”. I edited it.
Separated, as we are, by an ocean and a common vocabulary, you’ll never know. I have anointed myself with an honorary ‘Daaaamn. You made this?’ on your behalf however, as you’re definitely missing out.
You silly, and I’ll take your word for it.
Oh, believe me I’m hip; I love pretty much all potatoes, while I LOATHE cabbage in any form, due to my upbringing.
I’d email you some lamb kashari if I could.
Is there curry in it?
I don’t do curry, of any shade, ever. That’s one spice that makes my lymph nodes “angry.”
I can tell my whiteness, but how much I love to eat corned beef and cabbage on st. Patrick’s day!
Also, me dancing!
Whatever it is my that body doesn’t like in curry, it’s not the turmeric.