Ikea has come under fire for cultural appropriation after it added ‘jerk chicken with rice and peas’ to its menu.
The inexpensive furniture chain is known for its delicious food section, including hot dogs and Swedish meatballs. Yet while the company is always looking to expand its menu, they made a huge mistake with their newest addition. But it’s not the fact that they added 'jerk chicken with rice and peas’ to the menu that’s sitting wrong with a lot of shoppers.
The problem is that the store is making this traditional Caribbean dish with the completely wrong ingredients, Unilad reports. The traditional dish is served with pigeon peas or kidney beans. It’s also cooked with coconut milk and topped with onions. But Ikea’s version is being served with white rice and garden peas, instead.
People took to social media to vent their frustration. Many people pointed out this mistake means Ikea clearly didn’t do their research. “It’s literally white rice and garden peas, @IKEA did you even Google it?!” a person tweeted. Another wrote, “If you were confused, beans are called peas in the Caribbean.” One person also said, “This is what happens when you try and cash in on a culture with no input from that culture whatsoever.”
Given the intense backlash, Ikea has since issue an apology over the controversy, insisting they never meant to cause offense or butcher the dish.
“IKEA is a Swedish home furnishing company with a much-loved food offer,” the message read. “We take inspiration from many countries around the world and have always worked to combine different flavors and ingredients to offer delicious, healthy and affordable dishes.”
The apology continued, “We’re aware that our new jerk chicken, served with rice and peas has created some conversation and in some cases offence. Our intention was to create a dish for many people to enjoy but we appreciate that we may have got it wrong.”
At the moment, however, it remains unclear if the jerk chicken dish will be taken off the menu or not. It is also not known whether Ikea will be correcting the ingredients of the dish or leaving it as be. Either way, all we can say is the Internet isn’t impressed.
What do you think of Ikea’s slip-up, TheThings readers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.