Entitled Oberlin College Students Enraged Cafeteria Served Undercooked Sushi Rice And Say General Tso’s Chicken Was ‘Culturally ￼Appropriative’
Oberlin College offers a diverse and multicultural menu at their cafeteria, which is outstanding since they are making a concerted effort to welcome students from all different backgrounds and try to have them feel at home as much as possible. But of course, that’s not enough for entitled college students because apparently these ethnic dishes are not authentic enough and some of the student body has deemed them to be “insensitive” and “culturally inappropriate.”
The students voiced their disdain for the inauthentic fare in the school’s newspaper, The Oberlin Review.
Diep Nguyen, a College first-year from Vietnam, jumped with excitement at the sight of Vietnamese food on Stevenson Dining Hall’s menu at Orientation this year. Craving Vietnamese comfort food, Nguyen rushed to the food station with high hopes. What she got, however, was a total disappointment. The traditional Banh Mi Vietnamese sandwich that Stevenson Dining Hall promised turned out to be a cheap imitation of the East Asian dish. Instead of a crispy baguette with grilled pork, pate, pickled vegetables and fresh herbs, the sandwich used ciabatta bread, pulled pork and coleslaw. “It was ridiculous,” Nguyen said. “How could they just throw out something completely different and label it as another country’s traditional food?” Nguyen added that Bon Appétit, the food service management company contracted by Oberlin College, has a history of blurring the line between culinary diversity and cultural appropriation by modifying the recipes without respect for certain Asian countries’ cuisines.
How the fuck are these kids supposed to go about their daily lives and get an education when their crispy French baguettes are replaced by ciabatta bread! Goddamn travesty.
More atrocities from the Oberlin Review:
Prudence Hiu-Ying, a College sophomore from China, cited an instance when Stevenson was serving General Tso’s chicken, but the product did not resemble the popular Chinese dish. Instead of deep-fried chicken with ginger-garlic soy sauce, the chicken was steamed with a substitute sauce, which Hiu-Ying described as “so weird that I didn’t even try.”
Fun fact, General Tso’s chicken was not created in China. It was developed in New York City in the 1970s by Hunan cuisine chef Peng Chang-kuei to cater to the sugar-craving tastes of Americans, and has absolutely nothing to do with the when the 19th century Qing Dynasty general Zuo Zongtang AKA General Tso. So apparently, Oberlin College is guilty of making shitty American food in this instance.
Keep in mind, these would be the same exact people to complain that the chicken is prepared in the most unhealthy method ever if the chicken was fried, and they would demand that the chicken be prepared in a healthy fashion, like steamed.
The horrors of wickedness know no bounds at the cafeteria at Oberlin College:
Perhaps the pinnacle of what many students believe to be a culturally appropriative sustenance system is Dascomb Dining Hall’s sushi bar. The sushi is anything but authentic for Tomoyo Joshi, a College junior from Japan, who said that the undercooked rice and lack of fresh fish is disrespectful. She added that in Japan, sushi is regarded so highly that people sometimes take years of apprenticeship before learning how to appropriately serve it. “When you’re cooking a country’s dish for other people, including ones who have never tried the original dish before, you’re also representing the meaning of the dish as well as its culture,” Joshi said. “So if people not from that heritage take food, modify it and serve it as ‘authentic,’ it is appropriative.”
No offense to Miss Joshi, but does she realize how many “All You Can Eat” sushi joints there are out there, not to mention that sushi is sold at ShopRite and even gas stations? Not sure how many of those sushi-makers are the next Jiro Ono. I would understand these gripes if they flew to Tokyo, Japan to that “Jiro Dreams of Sushi” dude’s tiny restaurant, paid $240 for dinner and then the rice was undercooked. But you’re in a fucking college cafeteria, not some Michelin-star restaurant. Get the fuck over yourself.
I don’t want to jump to judgement with all of my privilege and my patriarchal vantage point, but I’m guessing that I could go to the Oberlin school cafeteria right now and have a hamburger. And there is no doubt in my mind that what passes as a “hamburger” at the school cafeteria is some burnt, dry brick of beef with some shit bun. And compared to say Smashburger’s Truffle Mayo Swiss Burger, which has truffle mayo, sautéed crimini mushrooms and aged Swiss on an egg bun, the basic bitch burger from the cafeteria is offensive to me. But it’s a school cafeteria, so I eat that garbage and go about my day because it’s better than eating Ramen noodles from a plastic bag.
The Bon Appétit Management Company gave an explanation for their food, even though the explanation is that it is cheap cafeteria food and not a 17-course meal at Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark:
According to CDS management, these dishes are a result of Bon Appétit’s foray into nutritional diversity. The food service company has recently been upping their output of cultural dishes in an attempt to diversify students’ options in taste and flavor profile. “Hopefully, if you dined with us in Stevenson, there would be one thing in every meal that you would want to eat,” said Michile Gross, director of Business Operations and Dining Services.
Guess every college cafeteria has to hire a Mario Batali, Wolfgang Puck or Gordon Ramsay to construct a gourmet menu to appease.
College officials bowed down and said they would set up a meeting with students in the coming weeks. Oberlin College, which is a liberal arts college in Ohio and not a culinary institute, is best known for being the alma mater of actress Lena Dunham.