Mon, 20 Aug, 2018Danielle McCarthy

Jamie Oliver faces backlash over new product

Jamie Oliver faces backlash over new product

An English MP has accused Jamie Oliver of cultural appropriation after the celebrity chef launched a new product.

Jamie has released a new range of ‘punchy jerk rice’ and the £2.30 (AUD$4) product has been hit with a wave of criticism for copying an original Jamaican recipe.

The MP in north west London, Dawn Butler, suggested the father of five used the word 'jerk' to increase sales of his rice.

Ms Butler tweeted: “#jamieoliver @jamieoliver #jerk I'm just wondering do you know what #Jamaican #jerk actually is?"

“It's not just a word you put before stuff to sell products. @levirootsmusic should do a masterclass. Your jerk Rice is not ok. This appropriation from Jamaica needs to stop.”

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Jerk is a type of cooking that originates in Jamaica, where meat is marinated or dry-rubbed in a seasoning made up of allspice, Scotch bonnets, but usually also contains garlic, cayenne pepper and cinnamon.

Some critics also slammed the chef for using ingredients that aren’t traditional.

"I saw this description of Jamie Oliver's Jerk Rice. On what planet can "garlic, ginger and jalapenos" be described as 'Jerk'?"

Others have been quick to jump to Jamie’s defence, arguing that the UK is a multicultural country and that cooking different cuisines isn’t the same as cultural appropriation.

One person tweeted: "Now while I do think Jamie needs taking down a peg or three you're all getting very silly over this appropriation stuff."

"If no one cooked/ate food from other cultures in the world what a boring life we'd lead."

Replying to Ms Butler’s tweet, UK MP Neil O’Brien wrote: “If Jamie Oliver isn’t allowed to make Jerk chicken because it’s cultural 'appropriation' she’s going to go mad when she finds out about 'Jamie’s Italy'."

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