As I was going about my business this morning, you know, nappy changing and trying to make sure my toddler does not somersault off the stairs, couch, toilet etc, an app on my phone caught my eye. Flipboard. I barely use it but it caught my eye today because of the word foodie in its summary of daily editions, of all things. I was intrigued by an article entitled “Stop thinking and just eat: when ‘food adventuring’ trivialises culture.”
It really struck a cord with me because, as someone on a mission to celebrate African culture through food, I find that I have to do some of the very things that the author points out as fetishising a culture. Afterall, it was only a few months ago that I told Groupon about how African cuisine is the next big thing in food trends. In such a way as to say, “Hey all you good ‘ol Western folk, don’t get left behind, jump onto the African cuisine band wagon and make us feel relevant!” Can you just imagine?
But kudos to the writer of the Groupon article, she was able to capture the essence of the message I conveyed with much respect. I may have even let her down a little bit during our interview by not diving deep into certain cuisines I know about. She asked me about akple, a Ghanaian cornmeal dish. I was surprised she even knew the real name of the dish. Good on her, she did the topic justice.
But some on the other hand have not been so fortunate in dipping their feet into the world of African food. Remember Jamie Oliver and the Jollof headlines? I wrote a piece in response to that saga essentially saying don’t knock Jamie’s jollof before you try it because at the end of the day, he helped put it in the spotlight.
But is this enough? What do you think?