Ah, Bon Appetit. They've managed to draw the ire of another segment of Asians. One would think that those folks would have learned their lesson the last time they pissed off the Vietnamese community with their dim-witted highlight on pho.
But hey, if these guys are going the culturally insensitive route, then might as well go 100, right? Right. Well, congrats to Bon Appetit, as they went full-on dummy with their take on Filipino cuisine, which they called an, 'Ode To Halo-Halo.' Now by 'ode' they really had to have meant 'defilement,' because such twisted sense would have worked out the way their skewed interpretation on what halo-halo was.
For those not familiar, halo-halo (which means mix-mix, in Tagalog) is a flavorful dessert made up of shaved ice, evaporated milk, palm fruit, coconut jelly, sweet beans, ube (purple yam) ice cream, and jackfruit. Bon Appetit's "reimagined version," however, contains the following ingredients:
- 2 very ripe bananas, sliced ¼-inch thick
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Kosher salt
- 6 ounces fresh blueberries (about 1 cup)
- 6 ounces fresh blackberries (about 1½ cups), cut in half if large
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- ½ pint vanilla or coconut ice cream
- Toasted unsweetened coconut flakes, gummi bears, and/or popcorn (for serving)
I mean, blueberries, popcorn, gummi bears, and bananas in your halo-halo? You may as well have titled your piece as, 'Ode To Yogurtland.' Understand this: ethnic cuisine is not some careless hodgepodge of ingredients that are without purpose. There's reason to how they're married into one definitive dish, from the toothsome nata de coco, to the lithe jackfruit, to the emblematic inclusion of ube ice cream.
The Philippines is a warm place, tropical and extremely humid. Halo-halo's iconic purpose is to don a cape of refreshing and be the hero to many individuals in need of its icy relief. Now, tell me Bon Appetit, how throwing popcorn, gummi bears, and kosher salt into halo-halo would provide any form of refreshment.
Don't worry, I'll wait.
Our cuisine is not up to your interpretation if you choose to Frankenstein it and place upon it your Columbus seal of approval. Your version of halo-halo is more like what would happen if someone ate all the food at a movie theater's concession stand and then vomited in a cup. What's next from you, Bon Appetit? Macaroni in place of pad thai noodles? Khao soi is the new pho? Almond milk-based tom kha kai?
Keep digging guys, as that seems to be your only approach to trying to get out of your obtuse views on other cultures' cuisines.