Buzzfeed media group’s food network Tasty regularly makes social media users drool or rush to fix themselves a snack with its short recipe videos, which explain how to make gourmet dishes in a few delectable shots. But on Saturday, a video the network put out last year became the talk of Indian Twitter for a reason the makers had likely not intended.
The one-minute video on how to make gulab jamuns became the subject of a social-media food war thanks to its unfortunate title – Tasty described the sweet as an “Indian fried doughnut”.
Indian Twitter users, annoyed by their local dishes acquiring comical or tautological names in the West (like chai tea, naan bread and pakora fritters) decided to give the network a taste of its own medicine by distorting the names of popular dishes from around the world, particularly North America and Europe. So, pizzas became cheese chapatis, tacos became stuffed papad (or American papdi chaat) and the doughnut at the heart of the food war became a chocolate-coated medu wada.
Another Twitter user took inspiration from the “my culture is not your prom dress” meme to drive home a culinary point about appropriation. Others pointed out shortcomings in the recipe and pointed out the many reasons why a gulab jamun cannot be called a fried doughnut.
The name wars transcended the realm of food and entered into sports, cinema and politics as well.
One Twitter user neatly summed things up, drawing inspiration from the other recent meme-obsession of Indian twitter users – a dialogue from the trailer of the Salman Khan’s upcoming Race 3.