Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Only Sauerkraut and Schnitzel for Me

It looks like I will be putting my BBQ smoker up for sale soon.  It's not that I have grown tired of making the most delicious meat products possible for family and friends.  It's not that I don't enjoy spending 11-hours in making one meal.  I need to get rid of the smoker because I am guilty of "cultural appropriation".

For those unfamiliar with the term, "cultural appropriation" is when white people take a tradition from minority cultures and "make it their own".  I first heard of it in the world of rock music--as Elvis Presley and the Rolling Stones have been accused of taking "black music" and making billions of dollars off it by presenting it as "safe for white audiences".  The greatest offender was Pat Boone--look at his "catalog of hits" and compare the airplay and record sales for the African-American artists that wrote and first recorded those songs.

But now, "cultural appropriation" has come to the world of food and cooking.  Recently, a burrito truck in Portland, Oregon was shut down by protests and public backlash because it was being run by two white women.  The ladies say they went to a part of Mexico known for its great tortillas, brought recipes back home and started selling them at a pop-up restaurant.  That brought outrage from those who have appointed themselves defenders of Mexican culture who claim the ladies stole the "intellectual property" of another group of people.

There is so much concern about white people stealing other race's food ideas in Portland that an on-line document provides diners with a list of "ethnic" restaurants owned and operated by whites that should be boycotted--and "appropriate" minority-owned and operated eateries that serve the same food.  The list does not make mention of the racial make up of kitchen staff actually preparing the entres--nor does it give the restaurants ratings to determine if the food is as good at the "politically correct" restaurants as it is at those establishments engaging in "cultural appropriation".

The article from a Portland restaurant "news" website even has claims from one protester that what we consider to be "fine dining" is in and of itself racist--as it was "built upon white supremacy, colonialism and sexism".  Apparently, it is not appropriate to pay a lot for French food done in classical preparation--while expecting Chinese or Mexican food to be cheap.

And so that is why I apparently have to get rid of the smoker.  BBQ is a tradition established by black slaves and share-croppers--who usually got only the toughest parts of a pig or cow for their meat.  They learned by cooking it low and slow they could get wonderfully tender and delicious meals--an art that is making a huge comeback now (among white competition cookers and restaurant owners across the country).  Although, I could always detail the "plight" of those earlier BBQ'ers every single time for all of my dining guests to make them feel guilty about the meal they are about to eat. 

Otherwise, I am left with no other option than to only eat the dishes of my German ancestors.  It looks like I had better brush up on my recipes for Weinerschnitzel, sauerkraut, red cabbage, and Sauerbraten.  Thank god we have all the best beers in the world.

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