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Guardian article calls jackfruit ‘spectacularly ugly’, invites Twitterati’s wrath

The Guardian wrote an article on jackfruit and how the fruit has become a "vegan sensation", clearly ignoring the fact that the fruit has been a staple food for many Asian countries for ages.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | March 30, 2019 10:59:42 pm
jackfruit, guardian jackfruit article, jackfruit vegan sensation, guardian article insulting jackfruit, west discover indian food, west on oriental food, food trend, indian express, viral news Netizens slammed the writer calling her “ignorant” and dubbing the article “racist”.

Great wars can be fought over food, and it isn’t restricted to Biryani or Pizza anymore. Comfy and humble foods too have ardent fans and you shouldn’t mess with them, at least on the Internet. Recently, British daily The Guardian wrote an article on jackfruit and how the fruit has become a “vegan sensation”. The article written by Zoe Williams went viral but not for the reasons the author would have liked, as it angered jackfruit-loving people not only from India but also from many parts South-East Asia, where it is enjoyed a lot.

Writing about the national fruit of Bangladesh and state fruit of Kerala, the writer in her article wrote, “The Indian fruit used to be left to rot on the tree, but has become a fashionable meat substitute.” The statement triggered a negative response from desi ‘chakka’ and ‘kathal’ lovers as they argued, the fruit is consumed widely by Indians in both its raw and ripe condition. Also highlighting how the fruit is not exclusive to just India but is widely available and consumed by many other tropical countries.

“A spectacularly ugly, smelly, unfarmed, unharvested pest-plant native to India,” the article continued to describe the tropical fruit which many saw as a slander. “Some people ate it, but only if they had nothing better to eat,” the article read.

As the writer tried to highlight how jackfruit became a hit meat substitute among vegans only in 2017 and many international brands like Starbucks used it in their vegan wraps, many highlighted how it has forever been compared to taste like meat and even has a name, gachh pantha (lamb of the tree) at least in Bengal.

While some questioned the research that went in writing the article, others dubbed it as “food racism” online, slamming the newspaper and its writer. Many also wondered why it isn’t a thing until discovered by the western world and blasted the writer for her “colonial hangover.

The article suggested three ways to eat the fruit — stewed to make “pulled jackfruit”, as fried patty burger and as “base mulch” like toppings for tacos. Now, people who have been consuming it for ages want to teach the writer the right way to have it — the traditional way.

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