A humor columnist for the Washington Post has apologized for a piece he wrote in which he expressed his broad dislike for Indian food.
Gene Weingarten, in an Aug. 19 column titled “You Can’t Make Me Eat These Foods,” mocked the abundance of curry in Indian dishes. He wrote that Indian food was “the only ethnic cuisine in the world insanely based entirely on one spice.”
“If you like Indian curries, yay, you like Indian food! If you think Indian curries taste like something that could knock a vulture off a meat wagon, you do not like Indian food,” Weingarten wrote. “I don’t get it, as a culinary principle.”
In the column, Weingarten also expressed his dislike were anchovies, bleu cheese and “garbage sushi.”
Weingarten posted an apology for his column to Twitter on Monday. He said it was unfair to mock all Indian food and acknowledged the fact that curry is not a single spice but rather a mixture of different ones.
Weingarten’s column had previously received angry reactions from the South Asian community, as Twitter users admonished him for treating Indian food as a monolith. Initially, he resisted apologizing for his remarks; he doubled down on them in a since-deleted Sunday tweet, according to Today.
“Took a lot of blowback for my dislike of Indian food in today’s column so tonight I went to Rasika, DC’s best Indian restaurant,” he wrote. “Food was beautifully prepared yet still swimming with the herbs & spices I most despise. I take nothing back.”
Actor Mindy Kaling, who is of Indian descent, tweeted that it was strange for someone to boast about strongly disliking a cuisine, seemingly in response to Weingarten.
Indian American chef Padma Lakshmi responded bluntly to Weingarten’s deleted tweet, tell him to “f**k off.” She encouraged him to educate himself on spices by reading her book.
The Washington Post has since edited Weingarten’s comments on Indian food to acknowledge that curry is not a single spice.
“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,” a correction at the top of the article reads. “In fact, India’s vastly diverse cuisines use many spice blends and include many other types of dishes. The article has been corrected.”
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