Another Karen is being criticized on the Internet. This time it’s Karen Taylor of Breakfast Cure, an Oregon-based company founded in 2017 that makes and delivers whole food breakfast meals. Taylor studied Chinese medicine in New Mexico and has spent over 20 years developing pre-packaged meals that, according to her, “work in our modern world.”
Karen Taylor proclaims herself to be the “Queen of Congee”, but it looks like the Asian community on social media isn’t too pleased with her recent attempt at “modernizing” the Asian staple porridge dish. She made a blog entry titled “How I discovered the miracle of congee and improved it,” claiming that she was “modernizing” Asian congee and “improving” it for the Western palate so that it “doesn’t seem too foreign.”
In her blog entry, she wrote about how she was first introduced to congee 25 years ago, when she was having stomach pains and cramping. Congee is an Asian porridge dish that’s usually made with rice and eaten with side dishes like pickled vegetables.
In a past interview, Taylor referred to congee as “this sort of weird thing.” The video of the interview has been removed from the Breakfast Cure website but it can still be viewed on YouTube.
Taylor recently made an attempt to modernize Asian congee and Asians are simply not having it, criticizing Taylor and Breakfast Cure for cultural appropriation and whitewashing.
So a group of colonizers decided to culturally appropriate congee. Good lord. pic.twitter.com/NSPoMPczRQ
— Casey Ho (@CaseyHo) July 16, 2021
It’s an art how Karen Taylor glorified/romanticized congee and insulted it at the same time. It’s some kind of bull$hit skill really.
— Mun Cho, RD (she/her) (@kid_dietitian) July 19, 2021
The owner of @breakfastcure, Karen Taylor (and yes, her name is actually Karen), dubs herself the "Queen of Congee".
I'm so over this 💩. Culturally appropriate your own damn culture. If you don't like congee, go eat some damn oatmeal. https://t.co/PdVHt61iIE
— Elenis (@notrightbutwong) July 19, 2021
lol… Queen of Congee Karen Taylor. They always be making food for the "western palate" like it's some enigma impossible for anyone else to solve. Like chinese chefs didn't figure out that white ppl would become addicted to deep fried chicken balls and sweet n sour sauce. https://t.co/djgsbNRxHH
— grime_ninja (@GrimeNinja) July 17, 2021
did y’all know a white woman named karen taylor dubbed herself as “founder and queen of congee” after going to culinary school in new mexico to “perfect congee” 🤩 cmon karen give us nothing 🤤
— elysia : FIX ON (@wavesofhwa) July 21, 2021
Breakfast Cure has responded to the criticism and updated their mission statement on their website. The company wrote: “Recently, we fell short on supporting and honoring the Asian-American community, and for that, we are deeply sorry. We take full responsibility for any language on our website or in our marketing and have taken immediate steps to remedy that and educate ourselves, revising our mission to not just creating delicious breakfast meals, but becoming a better ally for the AAPI community.”
Taylor’s blog entry has also been deleted from the website.
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