IKEA apologises after backlash over jerk chicken with 'rice and peas' dish
IKEA has been forced to apologize after images of their 'jerk chicken with rice and peas' dish sparked backlash on social media for its inauthenticity.
The Swedish furniture company might be renowned for their meatballs and other classic Scandinavian dishes, but it appears that they have a thing or two to learn about Caribbean cuisines.
Indeed, they recently added a 'jerk chicken dish' to their menu. The dish, of course, originates from Jamaica and is perhaps their most well-known.
However, IKEA's take on the famous dish only served to - in the words of a number of social media users - "butcher" the classic Jamaican meal.
Basically, instead of being served with rice traditionally cooked with kidney beans, coconut milk, spring onions, garlic and thyme, the chicken came with a side of white rice and garden peas.
When a customer posted this picture of their meal the global retailer was slated for misinterpreting the recipe for an authentic jerk chicken with rice and peas dish.
"This is IKEA’s jerk chicken and rice and peas and no I’m not eating it," Twitter user @Themlotsdad wrote alongside a snap of the meal.
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Other social media users have since taken to Twitter to give IKEA a piece of their mind.
"Jerk chicken with white rice and green peas? Can people stop bastardising traditional dishes please?" wrote one user.
"The chicken don’t look bad. But the literal rice and peas is killing my soul," another critic agreed.
"Chicken looks halfway decent here, but that rice looks like it just got taken off life support. No bueno," wrote another.
"They should’ve done their research first lool," said a different user.
While on the surface it may seem that backlash sparked over a reinterpreted meal is fairly trivial, it does appear to enter into cultural appropriation territory, as many social media users have implied.
Many customers, particularly those of Caribbean heritage, were displeased by what they saw as an attempt to exploit another culture while doing it a complete disservice and neglecting integral components of the classic meal.
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An IKEA spokeswoman has since apologized on behalf of the retailer.
"We're aware that our new jerk chicken, served with rice and peas has created some conversation and in some cases offense," Lorena Lourido, Country Food Manager, IKEA UK, and Ireland told the Metro. "Our intention was to create a dish for many people to enjoy but we appreciate that we may have got it wrong. We apologize and we are now re-looking at the dish."