A food chain owned by an Italian media outlet called Cookist is drawing the wrath of internet users after sharing a recipe for so-called “balloon bread” last week. The video shared by Cookist reminded many of naan, a South Asian staple. A Twitter user shared the screenshot from Cookist’s Facebook post which described the naan as “Balloon bread: the perfect alternative to regular bread.” Describing the process of making the balloon bread, the Facebook post read, “Just mix together flour, lukewarm water, hot milk, oil and dry yeast. The result will leave you speechless.
Sharing the screenshot on Twitter on Monday, the user expressed his reaction to Western ownership of the naan and tweeted: “Excuse me, what?” The tweet has received over 12.1,000 likes since it was shared on the microblogging site.
Several netizens from the South Asia and Middle East region shared their reaction to the tweet. One user commented: “Now they are going to patent it”. Another user commented: “This is our ‘Roti'”
… Now they’re going to patent it – Bharati Muralidhar (@ BharatiMuralid2) October 5, 2021
Then they will call ghee, cow oil 😂— mocha mochi (@MochiMeringue) October 3, 2021
The appropriation of Asian cuisine by Westerners who then repackage it and sell it as theirs has not gone well. While another user shared a photo of a bowl of rice and wrote, “Wait till they try these delicious snow grains.”
The video for the balloon bread was shared by Cookist last week. In the video, the cook follows a similar procedure to make naan bread. Netizens have described balloon bread as pita bread or naan bread, but certainly not something revolutionary that has never been consumed by people, especially those in the South Asian diaspora. As one user commented, “Pita bread, not balloon bread, I wish Gen Z cared enough about doing real research. Another comment on the Instagram post read, “It’s called a roti.” Ike has been around for 1000 years. One Indian user commented, “Why add yeast and everything else when you can do it with wheat flour?
This is Tawa Chapati in India and it is our staple diet.
What do you think of this recent western take on Asian cuisine?
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