The episode “British Bake Off” received quite a bit of buzz for its portrayal of Mexican culture



CNN

A recent episode of “The Great British Bake Off” drew criticism from some viewers for its depiction of Mexican culture.

On the “Mexican Week” episode of the reality quiz series, which aired in the UK on Tuesday and was released in the US on Friday, contestants were tasked with preparing pan dolce, tacos and tres leches Cake – dishes that critics considered vulgar and uninspiring. In the meantime, the hosts rejoice in their attempts to bring a linguistic sense of humor that not all viewers find funny.

In the opening scene, hosts Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas dress up in sombrero and serapes while joking about whether people might find such jokes offensive. At another point, Fielding ponders, “So, is Mexico a real place?” Lucas, in turn, likens the country to Xanadu. Other scenes include Lucas shaking the maracas and contestants slaying the vocalizations for guacamole and pico de gallo.

The episode’s choppy tone and use of stereotypes put many viewers off the wrong way.

Leslie Telles, food journalist and author of the cookbook “Eat Mexico: Recipes from Mexico City’s Streets, Markets and Fondas,” said that although she didn’t watch the full episode, she found the snippets circulating on social media unimaginative.

She added that despite its diversity, Mexican cuisine is overshadowed by European cuisine in the culinary world, and its treatment of presentation perpetuates misconceptions.

“I think they should have been more thoughtful about it,” Telles told CNN. “It transforms Mexican food into stereotypes – into a two-dimensional kitchen.”

Although it would have deviated from the show’s typical format, Telles said she would have liked to see “The Great British Bake Off” having a Mexican chef as a guest, rather than having two white British judges serve as salads.

Alejandra Ramos, presenter of “The Great American Recipe” on PBS and a chef of Puerto Rican descent, said the episode reflected the lack of diversity behind and in front of the camera.

“This would have been the perfect moment to bring in a Mexican judge or host to lead the discussions in front of the camera and direct the contestants,” she wrote in an email to CNN. “There should also have been consultants with an actual Mexican cultural and food background and experiences to advise on the story, the script, the food design and the challenges — as well as post-production and marketing.”

Ramos also wondered why the baking contest challenged contestants to make tacos – a point Show viewers He also invited them on social media.

“Mexico has amazing pastries, cakes, bread, and even savory baked goods they could have made instead,” she said. “But this would have required more actual knowledge about Mexican culture and cuisine that is clearly missing here.”

CNN has reached out to “The Great British Bake Off” for comment.

Since the first episode aired in 2010, “The Great British Baking Off”—performing on the American side as “The Great British Baking Show”—has become a cultural phenomenon, pacifying viewers with a spirit of camaraderie and providing an escape. However, she has received complaints of cultural insensitivity before.

During “Japanese Week” episode In 2020, some contestants have created concoctions that rely instead on Chinese and Indian flavors, which some critics have said amount to mixing distinct Asian cuisines. The same episode saw Lucas referring to Katsu Kari as “curry cat poo”.

“Anyone who has watched GBBO also knows how hard judges can be when they think something is too spicy, how easy they are to tempt non-British foods, and how the standard mark of a good baker is their ability to make a Victoria sponge,” Gaya Saxena wrote in a 2020 article for eater.

Previous contestants also spoke on the show Diversity issues.

in Interview with Insider Last year, Raf Bansal invited new hosts and judges who were better versed in non-English ingredients and recipes, and who could better reflect the show’s diverse cast of contestants. Ali Imdad expressed his surprise that the production workers allowed some errors to occur. Ruby Tando referred to the show as a “curious way to change”, in an article published in the Food Bulletin. hot It fired the jobs of many black and black chefs while being “overwhelmed with old-fashioned symbolism, tacitly white.”

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