I can’t help but congratulate Jamie Oliver for launching the Punchy Jerk Rice. He has always been one of my favourite chefs, so yeah, I am well chuffed for him. I am more happy for him because he is not just a celebrity chef, but he’s a very clever one too.
A few years ago Jamie’s interpretation of jollof rice caused outrage from West Africans when he used cherry tomatoes instead of blended ones. It was such a big scandal it was dubbed #jollofgate. Jamie Oliver was warned that West Africans took their food seriously.
Now just a few days ago, Jamie Oliver hit the headlines again. This time he has deeply offended Jamaicans. When Jamie Oliver launched his jerk rice, one British MP, Dawn Butler who I assume has some Jamaican descent took to Twitter to accuse Jamie of using the term ‘Jerk’ to boost his sales.
“Jamie Oliver I’m just wondering do you know what Jamaican jerk actually is? It’s not a word you put before stuff to sell your products,” she wrote. “This appropriation from Jamaica needs to stop.”
After that social media went ablaze over the Jerk rice, with a lot of black people accusing Jamie of cultural appropriation.
Personally, I don’t understand why black people have to moan about every little thing. We can’t be victims forever, no wonder why we are always at the bottom of everything. I’m finding the outrage about the jerk rice quite embarrassing, to be honest. Like I just want to say, black people, please get a life! So what Jamie did his own version of jerk rice. Oh sorry, apparently there is no such thing as ‘jerk rice’. Well, until Jamie invented it. Fair play to him.
I love Indian food so much I make my own versions of chicken korma and pilau rice. I love Ghanaian food so much I make my own version of jollof rice. If I choose to launch my own chicken korma or jollof rice, that’s within my rights to do so. I think we live in a world that’s so diverse culturally, choice and preference of food (no matter what country it originates from) should be declared a basic human right. This fussing over food is getting out of hand. Sometimes the victim mentality of black people is beyond pathetic.
At least we are learning more about Jamaican food, thanks to Jamie Oliver.
I was born in Zimbabwe and no one even knows or bothers to imitate the food that’s eaten there, it’s that boring. Jamaica should be proud that their food is so appreciated on a global scale. I have found myself at Jamaican restaurants a number of times, the food is just beautiful and oozes so much flavour and character.
Jamie Oliver saw an opportunity and chose to run with it, and black people are the ones giving him free marketing as he laughs all the way to the bank. So congratulations Jamie Oliver, your Jerk rice is a success, thanks to black people. I can’t wait to try some of that punchy jerk rice, sounds really good. I am not Jamaican but I do love Jamaican food very much, hope that’s okay.