British MP Dawn Butler has accused celebrity chef Jamie Oliver for his ‘punchy jerk rice’ product, which can be found of UK supermarket shelves.
The MP tweeted her dissatisfaction at Oliver’s use of the word ‘jerk’ to describe his product, which she argues bares no similarity to the actual Jamaican dish.
Instead Butler says the cook has appropriated the term purely for marketing potential.
“I’m just wondering do you know what #Jamaican #jerk actually is?” she tweeted.
“It’s not just a word you put before stuff to sell products.
“Your jerk Rice is not ok. 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
The term ‘jerk’ refers to the cooking process or seasoning of BBQ meats which are marinated in a mix of allspice and Scotch bonnet peppers and other spices which can include cloves, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, garlic and brown sugar. However, Oliver’s product reads as a mix of “fiery chilli, aubergine and beans”.
As one woman of Jamaican heritage explained on Twitter, “There’s no such thing as jerk rice apart from what Jamie Oliver has concocted. That’s her [Dawn Butler’s] point.”
There’s no such thing as jerk rice apart from what Jamie Oliver has concocted. That’s her point. Anybody from any nationality can eat anything they want, there are just some dishes that are best left alone and enjoyed how they’re supposed to be made.
— Regina Holland (@ReginaHolland_) August 18, 2018