Jamie Oliver's jerk rice is causing a row in Britain

Tabitha Dunn
August 22, 2018

But last night his "knockout" creation became the subject of an extraordinary backlash, as Dawn Butler, the shadow equalities minister, accused the celebrity chef of cultural "appropriation". Jamaica-born chef and entrepreneur, Levi Roots, and the chef and restaurateur, Bea Vo, respond. "I'm just wondering do you know what Jamaican jerk actually is?", Butler wrote.

In response to the row, Levi Roots has called Oliver's decision to launch a microwavable "punchy jerk rice" a mistake, according to The Guardian.

Regina Holland said: '[Dawn Butler] is not saying nobody from Jamaica shouldn't eat Jamaican food, she's pointing out the bastardisation of our national dish.

Fox News reports that there was little time between when Oliver's "jerk rice" hit store shelves, and when the accusations began to fly. There's no such thing as jerk rice apart from what Jamie Oliver has concocted'.

She continued: "It's not just a word you put before stuff to sell products".

It originated in Jamaica but has many different versions.

The celebrity chef is being called out for cultural appropriation for his microwaveable dish because it doesn't contain the traditional ingredients used in a jerk marinade, which is typically reserved for meat, not rice.

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Weighing into the row, Mr Roots said: "I do think it was a mistake by his team".

He revealed that he had in fact taught Oliver how to cook Jerk the authentic way.

"The jerk part of it is barbecue and you can't barbecue rice", she added.

If you want to make jerk marinade the right way then, according to Brian Danclair from Fish Wings and Tings in Brixton Village, London, you will need a bunch of spring onions, three scotch bonnet peppers, 100 grams of all spice or pimento, one large onion, one bunch of fresh thyme, 4-6 tablespoons vegetable oil, a teaspoon of smoked paprika and 60-80g of salt.

Also, it seems, jerk marinade doesn't usually get served over rice.

Jamie Oliver is yet to comment on the matter.

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