‘Tapau Please’ by SethLui.com: Epi #053 — Untangling the complexities of the white gaze upon Asian cuisine

It’s with heavy hearts that we have to announce that this episode will be the last for Tapau Please, with the podcast going on an indefinite hiatus. We can’t say for sure if we’ll be back (or when), but trust us when we say, it hasn’t been an easy decision and we’ll certainly miss being in the studio every week bringing you thoughtful discussions surrounding the F&B industry. But with the end of this season, we wanted to conclude the run with a topic that’s important in more ways than one—the white gaze upon Asian cuisine.

Bowl Of Congee
Credit – Pinterest

It might prove to be a sticky subject for some people, but it’s important to address the cultural context of food when trying to recreate it for a non-local audience. We’re sure you’ve seen in the news of how a Caucasian woman sold “Oregon porridge” which included ingredients and flavours that do little justice to the original dish, as she was “inspired” by traditional rice congee. It’s pretty hard to also not have noticed the promotion of tempeh and jackfruit in Western recipes, and the “discovery” of these ingredients as “exotic”.

These are just, but a few examples of Asian ingredients and dishes being white-washed, which has happened time and again, but the opportunity is ripe for us to address this here, on Tapau Please. What other Asian dishes/ingredients do you feel have been subjected to said white gaze? How, if possible, should this issue be resolved? Sound off in our Facebook post.

If you’d like to re-listen to any (or all) episode of Tapau Please, head over to PodbeanSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, and Apple Podcasts for your listening pleasure. It’s been a blast recording episodes for all of you every week, and we hope to reconnect with you soon. Till then, as we always say, take care and eat well!

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