The New York Times on Friday, February 11, pulled from Instagram a video showing a Taiwan-based writer making a “Singaporean chicken curry.”
The move came after furious critics in Singapore said the final product resembled sewage rather than a local dish.
According to an AFP report, Singaporeans are fiercely proud of their culinary traditions, which fuse influences from the country’s multi-ethnic population.
They are also sensitive to botched attempts by outsiders to portray their cherished dishes.
The controversy began when the Times posted a video earlier this month on its “nytcooking” Instagram account.
It showed Clarissa Wei, a Taipei-based American freelance journalist, demonstrating how to make what was called a Singaporean chicken curry.
The video accompanied an article Wei had written for NYT about the food Singaporeans enjoy during Lunar New Year celebrations.
Singaporean citizen Shila Das contributed a recipe for chicken biryani for the piece.
However, the article split the recipe into two parts, one called Nasi Biryani and the other Singaporean Chicken Curry.
It was the curry recipe that Wei cooked in the video.
Criticism from Singapore
The post quickly drew heavy criticism from Singapore, as many took to Instagram to voice their distaste for the curry.
“I’m sorry but what even is this? As a Singaporean, I’ve never seen any version of chicken curry that looks like this from any of the major ethnic groups,” one comment on social media said, according to the AFP report.
News outlets in Singapore would come to call the debacle Currygate.
It apparently received non-stop critical coverage for days before NYT bowed to pressure and pulled the video.
Subsequently, the publication put out a new Instagram post in which apologized for the entire episode.
It explained that the now-pulled video “didn’t faithfully follow the recipe, which was adapted by Clarissa Wei from Shila Das.”
It added that the video “didn’t do justice” to Das’ family dish or to her Lunar New Year tradition.
The publication concluded: “After hearing your feedback, we’ve removed the video, and we have clarified the recipe. We’re appreciative of your response.”
See the full post here:
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Meanwhile, Dominos and KFC are also doing some apologizing in an effort to placate irate Indians.