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24 Aug, 2021 17:56

Currection! Washington Post forced to correct article claiming Indian cuisine uses only ‘one spice’ after backlash

Currection! Washington Post forced to correct article claiming Indian cuisine uses only ‘one spice’ after backlash

The Washington Post has published a correction after one of its writers was accused of racism for jokingly claiming in an article that Indians use only one spice in their cuisine.

Humor columnist Gene Weingarten criticized Indian food last Thursday in an article titled ‘You can’t make me eat these foods’ where he claimed it’s “the only ethnic cuisine in the world insanely based entirely on one spice.”

“If you like Indian curries, yay, you like Indian food!” Weingarten wrote, before adding, “If you think Indian curries taste like something that could knock a vulture off a meat wagon, you do not like Indian food.”

The article sparked a wave of backlash, with critics accusing Weingarten of being ignorant and racist, and pointing out the obvious – that Indian cuisine in fact uses more than one spice.

“That you got paid to write this tripe, and boldly spew your racism is deplorable,” reacted journalist Shireen Ahmed, while Indian American author Padma Lakshmi had stronger words for him, tweeting: “On behalf of 1.3 billion people, kindly f**k off.”

The controversy was not helped by the fact Weingarten declared on Twitter that he would take “nothing back” from his criticism of Indian food after visiting one of Washington, DC’s best Indian restaurants on Monday night.

The Washington Post then altered Weingarten’s article and issued a correction notice.

“A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Indian cuisine is based on one spice, curry, and that Indian food is made up only of curries, types of stew,” the Post noted. “In fact, India’s vastly diverse cuisines use many spice blends and include many other types of dishes.”

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Weingarten’s article was changed to read, “If you like Indian curries, yay, you like one of India’s most popular class of dishes! If you think Indian curries taste like something that could knock a vulture off a meat wagon, you do not like a lot of Indian food.”

The writer himself also apologized on Monday for criticizing all Indian food based on his personal dislike for curry and described himself as a “whining infantile ignorant d***head.”

“I should have named a single Indian dish, not the whole cuisine, & I do see how that broad-brush was insulting. Apologies,” he wrote, acknowledging that “yes, curries are spice blends, not spices.”

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