Food

IKEA apologises after backlash over jerk chicken with rice and peas dish

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The meal also comes with a wedge of lime. (Picture: IKEA)

IKEA has faced a barrage of online backlash over a dish that it called jerk chicken with rice and peas, after an image of the meal went viral on social media.

The Swedish furniture company made a grave, grave error in its creation of the classic Caribbean dish by completely misinterpreting what authentic rice and peas actually consists of.

But, following backlash, the company has apologised and is now re-looking at the recipe.

The recipe included half a chicken slathered in jerk seasoning โ€“ so far, so good. But the rice and peas included with the meat was not what anyone familiar with the original dish would expect. Thats right โ€“ the chicken came with white rice and garden peas.

Rice and peas that is traditionally served with jerk chicken is generally understood to be rice cooked with kidney beans, coconut milk, spring onions, garlic and thyme. And although recipes vary, garden peas never come into the equation.

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People on Twitter were quick to express their mortal outrage after one customer posted a photo of the meal with the caption: This is IKEAs jerk chicken and rice and peas and no Im not eating it.

This is IKEAs jerk chicken and rice and peas and no Im not eating it ๐Ÿ˜• pic.twitter.com/BFPJ1CWBmR

โ€” . (@Themlotsdad) September 9, 2019

The chicken dont look bad. But the literal rice and peas is killing my soul, said one critic.

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Chicken looks halfway decent here, but that rice looks like it just got taken off life support. No bueno, added another.

They shouldve done their research first lool, said someone else.

This isnt the first time a brand has come under fire for butchering this classic dish. Jamie Oliver was famously slammed for his packets of instant jerk rice โ€“ which elicited anger but also confusion as combining jerk sauce with rice is not a Caribbean tradition.

IKEAs mistake, as well as being both hilarious and tragic, has a more serious edge โ€“ with some accusing the company of cultural appropriation and exploitative marketing.

Jerk chicken with white rice and green peas?
Can people stop bastardising traditional dishes please? pic.twitter.com/pqWgEsQMZZ

โ€” Lorraine King (@lorrainemking) September 12, 2019

What really gets on peoples nerves is when companies make money from Caribbean culture without consulting anyone Caribbean in the process โ€“ which appears to be what has happened with this latest IKEA controversy.

Were aware that our new jerk chicken, served with rice and peas has created some conversation and in some cases offence, Lorena Lourido, Country Food Manager, IKEA UK and Ireland told Metro.co.uk.

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Our intention was to create a dish for many people to enjoy but we appreciate that we may have got it wrong. We apologise and we are now re-looking at the dish.Read More โ€“ Source

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