September 25, 2019
September 25, 2019 4:21 PM EDT
Is a Swedish company making a Jamaican dish in the U.K. cultural appropriation?
Ikea, the company best-known for its snap-together furniture, has been forced to apologize over its jerk chicken dish sold at U.K. stores after messing up the recipe.
As U.K.’s Metro reported, Ikea’s take on the Caribbean dish consisted of a half chicken covered in jerk seasoning served with white rice and garden peas. Traditionally, the “rice and peas” that accompany the jerk chicken is actually rice mixed with coconut milk, spring onions, garlic, thyme and kidney beans, according to the news site.
Many on social media took issue with the recipe. Some just seemed disgusted by the look of the food.
One user wrote alongside a picture of the dish on Twitter: “This is IKEA’s jerk chicken and rice and peas and no I’m not eating it.”
This is IKEA’s jerk chicken and rice and peas and no I’m not eating it 😕 pic.twitter.com/BFPJ1CWBmR
— . (@Themlotsdad) September 9, 2019
“Dear IKEA,” another Twitter user wrote. “We see you being inclusive and all, but this jerk chicken dish is an insult to Caribbeans. Could you not at least have looked up the recipe for rice and peas? It is NOT white rice and green peas. We have a chef who can help if you need authentic guidance.”
@IKEAUK Dear IKEA. We see you being inclusive and all, but this jerk chicken dish is an insult to Caribbeans. Could you not at least have looked up the recipe for rice and peas? It is NOT white rice and green peas. We have a chef who can help if you need authentic guidance. pic.twitter.com/vzasBSrY0G
— Black Economics (@Black_Economics) September 13, 2019
But others just found the concoction funny.
Wait I missed that ikea is selling “jerk chicken” with rice and GREEN peas? 😭 pic.twitter.com/xbuP8zqKTo
— Natelegé (@natelege_) September 19, 2019
Real question is who was ordering jerk chicken at Ikea? Never mind. pic.twitter.com/JjUIlETUhv
— Randy Winston (@_randywinston) September 15, 2019
But some implied Ikea was trying to appropriate Jamaican culture — and failing at the same time.
“This is what happens when you try and cash in on a culture with no input from that culture whatsoever,” another user wrote.
It's literally white rice and garden peas 😭 @IKEA did you even Google it?!
If you were confused, beans are called peas in the Caribbean.
This is what happens when you try and cash in on a culture with no input from that culture whatsoever.https://t.co/Ste2tLFs6l
— Eleanor Langford (@eleanormia) September 14, 2019
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver faced similar attacks last year when he launched his meatless, microwavable punchy jerk rice. U.K. Labour MP asked the chef at the time if he even knew what Jamaican jerk was.
“Your jerk Rice is not ok,” she wrote on Twitter at the time. “This appropriation from Jamaica needs to stop.”
#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.
— (((Dawn Butler MP))) (@DawnButlerBrent) August 18, 2018
Though, some felt accusing Ikea of cultural appropriation a little ridiculous.
One person wrote on Twitter, “People get triggered over anything,” with another writing the company had nothing to apologize for.
People get triggered over anything now days. IKEA started doing Jerk Chicken with peas and potatoes in the UK and people got triggered and are screaming CULTURAL APPROPRIATION because….. they used the wrong peas 😐 pic.twitter.com/y2Eh9nIReK
— 🎮 Ryan 🎮 (@TheBmoreGamer) September 17, 2019
#Ikea dont owe anyone any apology. I stand with Ikea. They said Jerk chicken and rice and peas NOT rice and beans which we Jamaicans call peas. How many Jamaican chefs try other culture food and add twist to it? This look way better than some Jamaican food I've seen. pic.twitter.com/AYaN6Eo7DB
— Noel Cunningham Jr. 🇯🇲 (@iamchefnoel) September 15, 2019
Now we're mad about @IKEA Jerk chicken and rice & peas. 😩🤣 Y'all on a mad roll today I see. pic.twitter.com/C8gMjKZrkL
— Queen Namnyak (@kmbombshell) September 20, 2019
Still, Ikea has apologized.
“We take inspiration from many countries around the world and have always worked to combine different flavours and ingredients to offer delicious, healthy and affordable dishes,” Ikea U.K.’s Lorena Lourido told People.com in a statement. “We’re aware that our new jerk chicken, served with rice and peas has created some conversation and in some cases offence.”