TikTok Hilariously Parodies The Gentrification Of Food

As any true foodie would know, eating food from around the world is a tasty and exciting way to gain knowledge and appreciation for other cultures. Cooking food from around the world can certainly reap the same benefits. Sharing these foods without giving credit to their roots, however, is where the line can be drawn between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation. 

Cultural appropriation occurs when a member of one group takes a practice or idea of another ethnic or cultural group without giving that group due credit for creating and using it within their own culture. It can be especially hurtful for cultural groups that have historically been marginalized by the group doing the appropriating.

In the age of food influencers and recipe blogs, the cultural appropriation of certain cuisines has been seen all over the internet. Fortunately, the internet gives everyone a voice, and people are using those voices to call out this ignorant practice. For example, one notable TikTok video recognizes another high-profile video's recipe for "high protein wraps" as dosa, a recipe that has long existed in Indian and South Asian cultures. 

The message has certainly resonated for many already, but one uniquely creative and comical TikTok video relays the message in a whole new light.

How a farce framed the topic in a new light

In July 2022, TikToker @danielarabalais created a perfectly satirical video to address the cultural appropriation of food. In the piece titled "If BIPOC appropriated/gentrified foods like [white] influencers do to cultural foods," the user pretends to show their followers a recipe for "sausage tacos" as they call the dish while holding up what is clearly a hot dog

Not only does the user claim to have made up the recipe all on their own, but they refer to the bun as a "fluffy tortilla," the mayonnaise as "American crema" and ketchup as "American salsa tomate," reframing traditionally American ingredients through a Mexican perspective. The user then says they got the ingredients at "Trader Jose's" — a cheeky jab at Trader Joe's and its controversial use of stereotypical cultural names to brand its products from corresponding cultures. 

As the title suggests, the video also brings up the issue of food gentrification, which occurs when a cultural group's staple food becomes "cool" or "trendy," and its rising demand and allure make it less affordable. When put into a perspective that cultural majorities, in this case, white Americans, can relate to, the message reaches even further and wider. As one commenter noted, "it proves such an important point in such a great way".