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How Not to Be a Restaurant Racist

For starters, maybe you shouldn’t call it “ethnic” food.
Noodles from Ba Bar in Seattle.
Noodles from Ba Bar in Seattle. Geoffrey Smith

I love food. You love food. But we might not love the same food, and that’s okay. What’s unacceptable is spinning personal preference into blanket statements—attaching the attributes of right or wrong, or inherent value—about food, or worse, the people cooking it.

It’s shocking how often seemingly benign, off-the-cuff statements about restaurants, cuisines, or ingredients are tinged with cultural misunderstanding or racism. Check yourself before you play into thinly veiled assumptions about cultural hierarchies and authenticity. A good first step is avoiding these five common mistakes.