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Washington Post columnist cooks up storm with bad piece on Indian cuisine & then says sorry

Gene Weingarten, the Washington Post columnist apologised for his flippant article on Indian cuisine

Washington Post humour columnist Gene Weingarten has apologized for an article he wrote last week about his eating habits, in which he ran down Indian cuisine and wrongly described it as “based entirely on one spice.”

The apology came from the embarrassed writer after a social media backlash that exposed glaring factual errors in the piece and criticised it as insensitive and insulting.

The piece titled “You can’t make me eat these foods,” Weingarten mentions a number of foods he does not like such as Old Bay seasoning, hazelnuts and anchovies. Regarding Indian food, he wrote that “If you like Indian curries, yay, you like Indian food!”

The illustration at the top of the column shows a man in a bib wrinkling his nose at a spoonful of food being offered to him.

“I don’t get it, as a culinary principle,” he added. “It is as though the French passed a law requiring every dish to be slathered in smashed, pureed snails.”

The statements triggered a storm with critics saying it’s inaccurate and insulting. Indian American author and model Padma Lakshmi, who hosts Bravo’s “Top Chef” show, tweeted, “What in the white nonsense™️ is this?”

Indian American actress and screenwriter Mindy Kaling tweeted, “You don’t like a cuisine? Fine. But it’s so weird to feel defiantly proud of not liking a cuisine. You can quietly not like something too.”

Weingarten tweeted an apology on Monday and admits that his column was “insulting.”

Rendering an apology, Weingarten tweeted: “From start to finish plus the illo, the column was about what a whining infantile ignorant d—head I am,” Weingarten  “I should have named a single Indian dish, not the whole cuisine, & I do see how that broad-brush was insulting. Apologies.(Also, yes, curries are spice blends, not spices.)”

After this story was published, Weingarten told CNN Business that he thought “people would not take this column seriously because I was not taking myself seriously.”

“That was a miscalculation, and what I do realize that I did not realize before — I should have — was that the item on Indian food was different from all the others,” he added. “All the others were specific foods. Even tongue in cheek, I was not condemning an entire ethnic cuisine, and I think that made it stand out. I do understand why people are upset by it.”

The Washington Post also amended the column with a correction to the top and removed the errors.

“A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Indian cuisine is based on one spice, curry, and that Indian food is made up only of curries, types of stew,” the correction reads. “In fact, India’s vastly diverse cuisines use many spice blends and include many other types of dishes. The article has been corrected.”