Jamie Oliver’s new ‘jerk rice’ slammed for cultural appropriation

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has been accused of cultural appropriation after launching his new “punchy jerk rice” product.

The whole grain rice product contains chili, aubergine and beans but it is the “jerk” description that has people fired up.

Traditional Jamaican jerk usually refers to a type of marinade for different meats, with the jerk spice primarily made up of allspice and Scotch bonnet peppers.

People were quick to point out that this dish doesn’t really fit that description and neither of the main jerk spice ingredients were even listed on the product.

British MP, Dawn Butler, took to Twitter to accuse Oliver of using the term 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.”

There were many people that agreed with Butler and called out the celebrity chef for using the word “jerk” to make the product more appealing despite not having any of the typical ingredients that the word relates to.

“This appropriation from Jamaica needs to stop.”

– Dawn Butler

“I was about to headbutt my desk over this tweet from Dawn Butler because most cultural appropriation brouhahas are nonsense,” one person wrote.

“Then I saw this description of Jamie Oliver’s ‘Jerk’ Rice. On what planet can ‘garlic, ginger and jalapeños’ be described as ‘Jerk’? “

Another Twitter user suggested that there were some dishes that should be “left alone and enjoyed how they are supposed to be made” rather than changing them into something else.

One person wrote, “There is no such thing as ‘jerk rice.’ Jamie Oliver put it on his product/recipe to make money. That is appropriation of culture.”

Chef Jamie Oliver attends the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, January 18, 2017. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich - RTSW2OQ

This isn’t the first time Oliver has caused controversy when creating a cultural dish.

 (OnNewsToday)

However, there were plenty of social media users that disagreed with this sentiment, pointing out that food products inspired by different cultures is not a new thing.

“You ever had some prawn cocktail crisps? You know there’s not actually a bunch of prawns in a packet of prawn cocktail crisps. Right? Chill out,” one person said.

“I better stop making my awesome moussaka and lasagne and bean burgers before the offendatrons find out,” another person wrote.

One person added: “This is one of the most ridiculous tweets from an MP I have ever read. Since when has a ‘national dish’ become sacred? Since some people take such delight in putting on a performance of being outraged.”

This isn’t the first time Oliver has caused controversy when creating a cultural dish. In 2014 he received fierce backlash from West Africans after posting a Jollof recipe to his website.

He was slammed for using cherry tomatoes on the vine as traditional Jollof rice is made with blended tomatoes, onions and bell peppers.

The controversy was dubbed “Jollofgate”.

This article originally appeared on news.com.au.

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