"Asian Flair" and Mainstream Food Media
In an essay for The Bygone Bureau, Darryll Campbell discusses an unsettling trend in middlebrow cooking: "Asian Flair." Used to describe ingredients from a multitude of Asian countries and cultures, "Asian flair" has been used by Rachael Ray, Zagat's and even Coolio to describe that certain something that takes a dish from boring to vaguely exotic.
While Campbell makes a great case for why diluting the cultures of many countries down to what amounts to garnish is kind of racist, he also uses the term's offensiveness to take issue with the legitimacy of the culinary superstars who use it. What's more important here, whether Rachael Ray is making haute cuisine, or the misguided usage of the term itself?