Your mockery of White People Food is Wrong and Classist
EDIT: So it seems that this story is rapidly spreading around the internet, with 60,000 views in the last day alone. A lot of people have…
Basically, White People Food (WPF) is a joke cuisine, not even a cuisine, just stuff that Americans make because they don’t know what ‘real food’ is. Maybe this is widely represented in the progressive, ultraliberal bubbles I run in, maybe I just have a unique set of friends. But whatever it is, it seems that most of the millennial, urbanite, oppose-gentrification-but-still-eat-froyo people I know look down on WPF.
Which is a good excuse for me to get irrationally angry. Because I love food, and by discarding an entire class of foods we lose whatever interesting ideas they have. And because I remember a lot of these WPF foods growing up, and I remember exactly why we ate them: because they’re cheap as fuck. I compiled a list of every single specific food people sent me, and each one could feed a family of six for like five dollars. And they all were easy to make, too, because you really don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking (or washing a billion dishes after) when you’re trying to wrangle four kids and two dogs. So really, when you’re saying “WPF food is dumb and bad”, you’re indirectly saying “Poor people food is dumb and bad”. Which, well, doesn’t at all make you a bad person, any more than my latent homophobia and misogyny makes me a bad person. It’s just a thing to recognize, explore, and counteract.
Also, by thinking of WPF as dumb and bad, we don’t explore why we don’t like it, and therefore how to make it something we like. So I’m gonna rant about a few WPFs, specifically why they’re secretly awesome and how to make them more obviously awesome.
The gag is…
…this guy’s argument immediately defeats itself. He wants to define our hatred of White People Food among classist lines of “this is what poor white people eat” when soul food – the only great American cuisine – is based on scraps given to slaves who had to work to make food taste good. White People Food, by definition, must not be Black People Food, yes? But Black People Food *slash* Soul Food is poor people food and it’s one of the few culinary traditions that actually exists in this country. I’m sorry none of y'all’s white ancestors took the time to make cheap ingredients into a culinary tradition that has spread around the globe, but it has nothing to do with class or access to better foods.
Honestly…I don’t actually know why white people can’t cook. (We already know that’s a generalization. I don’t need you to send me your Grandma Susan’s recipe for Red Velvet Cake to combat it.) But what I do know is this isn’t strictly an American issue and has nothing to do with class. I don’t want to eat at your white friend’s house in the UK either – the food is too bland. If you give me the choice between a French restaurant with a menu priced at X amount and an Indian restaurant with a menu priced at X amount, I’m going to choose the Indian restaurant. Brown people make cheap food taste great. You have to really come out of your wallet before you actually hit a quality level of French cuisine or English cuisine or German cuisine.
So basically, white folks’ ancestors don’t have good culinary traditions for the average person (the Italians and the Greeks come closest, but there’s not a lot of variation in the ingredients). The rest of us do. So find another reason to cry about your unseasoned chicken breast.