Jamie Oliver stops using the term “kaffir” for reasons of racism
The term struck a sour note.
Celebrity British chef Jamie Oliver has announced that he will stop using the name “kaffir lime leaves” in his cookbooks and on TV shows over concerns about the word’s racial overtones.
Oliver, 46, has already deleted the loaded moniker from his online recipe for quick chicken laksa, while the TV cook’s team plan to review and edit previous content where the term was used, the Daily reported. Mail.
“I can confirm that we are also making the change – to lime leaves – and that we will not use the term in the future,” a source close to the “Oliver’s Twist” host told the post. in a press release.
Derived from the citrus hystrix plant of Southeast Asia, kaffir lime leaves are a popular ingredient in everything from traditional Indonesian medicine to Thai coconut curry, to which they add a hint of zest.
Unfortunately, the origins of the name are far from tasty: “kaffir” is a very offensive insult that was historically used to refer to black people, especially in South Africa during the apartheid era of the 20th century. Today, calling someone the K word out there can potentially land a person in jail.
In order to avoid re-heating old racial tensions, Oliver plans to replace “kaffir lime leaves” with “lime leaves” in the future. The celebrity chef’s decision comes after Tesco, Waitrose and other UK chains banned the use of the word on their products.
Limes aren’t the only foods getting a facelift in the name of racial harmony. On this side of the pond, snack brands from Uncle Ben’s to Aunt Jemima have revamped their controversial imagery to promote equality in the wake of the police murders of George Floyd and other black people.