Twitter is an absolute bowl of dumb on any given day of the week, but on some days that bowl overfloweth. Such was the case earlier this week when a self-proclaimed “culture writer” took to the popular social media platform to alert her followers that she was greatly fauxfended over finding out that a cookbook on dumplings and noodles was written by a white woman.
Roslyn Talusan, who boasts in her bio that she’s written for Vice and Refinery 29 among other online publications, first asked “why did a white woman write a cookbook about dumplings and noodles.” She made sure to include a screen grab of the cookbook and a photo of author Pippa Middlehurst just so everyone could get the full effect of how supposedly offensive this all was. Talusan has locked down her account since the tweets went up, but we’ve got copies of them:
"Culture writer" who whined about supposed cultural appropriation has locked down her account so people can't see her stupidity on full display, but screengrabs are forever, hon. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/EWyu03fBLj
— Sister Toldjah 😁 (@sistertoldjah) August 18, 2021
What apparently made the cookbook even worse in Talusan’s eyes was the way Middlehurst promoted the recipes it contained:
— Sister Toldjah 😁 (@sistertoldjah) August 18, 2021
I mean, how could anyone NOT be triggered by that?
On a more serious note, once you dig into the cookbook – which others did after Talusan went about her mission to cancel Middlehurst, you see on the “introduction” page (courtesy of Amazon) how the author grew up eating and enjoying Asian food, which she said her grandfather treated her and her brother to from time to time. She found her first recipe for stir-fry when she was 12. She also fell in love with an Asian supermarket which was located right below the restaurant she and her family frequented. She notes that she still visits it and could navigate the aisles with her eyes closed.
Middlehurst, who went to school to become a scientist and who has a degree in microbiology and molecular biology, also wrote that as she became more familiar with all types of Asian cuisine, she ended up going to a cookery school in Lanzhou, China to learn how to make Asian food in a more “traditional way.”
Her website has similar information:
— SunAraw 🇺🇲🇵🇭 (@KawwwMe) August 16, 2021
Clearly, this is not “cultural appropriation” in the sense Talusan strongly insinuated. Middlehurst is not someone who is presenting Asian food selections as her own, even though the recipes are hers. In her cookbook, which has been out for a year now, she went to great lengths to talk about her love of Asian food and how her recipes were more or less a tribute to that love, and how she wanted to share them with people so maybe they could fall in love with them, too.
As noted above, Talusan ended up locking her account down because she got ratioed big time for the tweets shown here and others she wrote, but I wanted to highlight a few of what I felt were spot-on responses to what she said, with the first one being from Middlehurst herself, who after criticizing Talusan for trying to (wrongly) use her as a whipping girl for cultural appropriation, said she would not justify who she was to anyone:
Anyway, I’m not going to justify my career here. If anybody following this thread would like to support none-white female authors writing about ESEA foods, you can find a huge list on my webstore https://t.co/o1Xc9je16e
— Pippyeats (@Pippyeats_) August 17, 2021
This tweeter summed up the thoughts of many to a “t” in explaining why people who whine about others supposedly culturally appropriating food choices were “lost souls.” What better way to unite people than by food? The term “breaking bread” comes to mind:
If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that cooking is one of the greatest unifiers. Sharing recipes, incorporating new ways of cooking & ingredients into your own, and eating food from all over the world. Anyone saying otherwise are lost souls.
— Sue DeNimm (@TheNaughtyNook) August 17, 2021
And, sadly for Talusan, not all people of Asian descent think alike:
I am an Asian, and I totally support you! Please feel welcome to learn and explore our cuisines!
— Wei-Chuan Hsu (@WoWiWei) August 18, 2021
Not surprisingly, Talusan is now proclaiming she’s the victim here and needs some tip money in order to pay for “therapy” or whatever:
lmaoooo. we’ve reached the part in this story where the wannabe canceler claims *she* is the victim. Also the racist gatekeeper needs your money. pic.twitter.com/cFm8lMMig2
— tsar becket adams (@BecketAdams) August 18, 2021
Lastly, though Talusan made a complete fool out of herself, what she wrote was child’s play compared to Los Angeles Times investigative reporter Jie Jenny Zou, who posted a 14-tweet thread a year ago about how the cookbook upset her so much, though in her last tweet on the alleged issue she made sure to claim that “despite appearances i am not stalking” Middlehurst.
The phrase “get over yourself” seems appropriate here for both writers, methinks, although I’m sure they’d probably get offended over that, too, bless their hearts.
As for Middlehurst’s cookbook, it’s listed as a number one bestseller on Amazon, proving once again that revenge is a dish best served cold.