The Great British Bake Off is accused of promoting Mexican stereotypes.
By Chad Langen | Posted
The heat is rising on the popular BBC cooking show The Great British Bake Off, and not in a good way. According CNN, a recent episode of the series is being criticized after several of the country’s top Mexican chefs accused the show of cultural appropriation. In the recent Mexican week episode of the reality competition series, which premiered in the UK last Tuesday and aired in the US on Friday October 7, the contestants’ mission was to make pan dulce, tacos and tres leches cake , which critics considered cliché.
In the opening scene of Great British Bake Off episode that landed the series in hot water, hosts Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas dressed in sombreros and serapes. Other moments in the episode saw Lucas shaking maracas and contestants messing up pronunciations for pico de gallo and guacamole. What’s worse is that the show’s hosts playfully wondered if people might be offended by their jokes.
A chef from the Mexico City area and who runs the Cavita restaurant in London, Adriana Cavita, found the recent The Great British Bake Off insulting episode. She told the Guardian: “For me, it’s a bit sad to see this stuff because knowing my culture and my country, I feel like it’s more than a cactus and a sombrero.” Cavita said such portrayals of his country respond to outdated stereotypes.
Much of season 10, episode 4 of The Great British Bake Off saw the contestants make cheeky jokes with each other as they explained simple Mexican dishes, with one contestant suggesting they had no idea what Mexicans even cook. Nud Dudhia, who runs the Breddos restaurant, was unhappy with the lack of research and disrespect for Mexican culture and cuisine. “Because of what’s going on in the food scene in London, people’s minds are opening up to what real Mexican food is, and then The Great British Bake Off comes and rolls that back 10 years,” he said.
Since the episode aired, Alejandra Ramos, who hosts the Great American Recipeshared his thoughts on the recent episode of The Great British Bake Off, suggesting that this would have been the perfect opportunity to introduce a guest judge or Mexican host to hold on-camera discussions and assist the contestants. She added that Mexico has a wide variety of amazing dishes that would have been more inspiring. “Mexico has amazing pastries, cakes, breads and even savory dishes that they could have made instead,” she said.
This is not the first case where The Great British Bake Off was charged with alleged racism. In 2020, the star Japanese week and contestants were allowed to substitute traditional Japanese flavors with Indian dhal and Chinese stir-fry flavors. Just like the recent Mexican week episode, the series was accused of disrespecting Japanese culture and food.
The Great British Bake Off is a British culinary reality television competition produced by Love Productions and follows a group of amateur bakers who compete in a series of rounds, hoping to impress a pair of judges with their baking skills. One contestant is eliminated in each round and the winner is crowned among the contestants who make it to the final. The first episode aired in August 1010, with its first four series airing on BBC Two. As the show’s popularity continued to climb, it landed on BBC One for its next three series.
The fifth season of The Great British Bake Off is currently streaming on Netflix as The great British pastry fair, and it consists of 10 episodes. Plus, you can find pretty much every season of the show on YouTube thanks to some tech-savvy fans. The popular series is also available on Channel 4 for UK viewers.