Culture

Bon Appétit Just Insulted the Entire Filipino Community By Ruining an Iconic Dish

Bon Appétit Magazine can’t seem to catch a break these last couple months. First, they caused a huge fiasco last month when they published a video claiming that “pho was the new ramen” featuring a white chef as an authority on the dish.

Now, Bon Appétit Magazine is under fire again after an article presenting a recipe for Halo-Halo, the Filipino dessert meaning “mixed together” in Tagalog, surfaced online. Although the recipe was published in August, it’s unclear why it’s going viral now. The recipe, titled “Ode to Halo-Halo,” started off with the following paragraph:

“It doesn’t get any cooler than halo-halo, the Filipino treat with a base of fluffy shaved ice. Our reimagined version plays off the original with store-bought toppings like coconut flakes and gummies. Macerating the fruit makes it extra juicy and saucy, but you could just throw in any unadulterated berry. The key to this dessert (as with any sundae) is a mix of textures: icy, creamy, chewy, crunchy.”

Haluhalo (or Halo-halo) is made of shaved ice and evaporated milk added to various ingredients including coconut, tropical region fruits, boiled sweet beans, agar jelly and purple yam ice cream and is typically served in a tall glass or bowl.

Bon Appetit’s version not only missed some key ingredients, but suggested readers to add blueberries, gummi bears, and popcorn — a complete desecration of a culturally iconic dish:

halohalo

Once the Filipino community picked up on the post, outrage ensued.

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Ranier Maningding, a Filipino-American and the man behind the Facebook page The Love Life of an Asian Guy, told NextShark that Bon Appétit’s recipe is far from the original. He said:

“They made it seem like halo halo was some lazy, hodgepodge of ingredients that you mix in like you’re at Yogurtland. It’s not. The ingredients used are pretty specific and they’re supposed to pair with each other. The jelly, the beans, the ube ice cream, the shaved ice — THAT is legit. It reminds me of when white people open up taco shops and think they can add roast beef, salami, and fried chicken and still call it authentic. White folks always think that ethnic food is some lazy mashup of flavors but in reality, those flavors have a purpose. White folks don’t understand the ingredients so they think they’re all interchangeable.

“Blueberries and bananas? That’s GROSS. That shit will get mushy. That’s why we use palm fruit, coconut gel, and jackfruit — the consistency doesn’t falter after you mix it. Also, the ube (purple) ice cream is ICONIC. How TF can they miss that?

“It’s supposed to be tropical and refreshing. They added popcorn and gummy bears. That’s disgusting.”

Maningding also added that this recipe is extra insulting considering that it’s Filipino-American history month:

“To not use an authentic recipe and have it presented by a Filipino is insulting. That’s like doing an ode to Langston Hughes in February with a poem written by a white man. It’s selfish and insulting.”

For future reference, this is what Halo-Halo is really supposed to look like:

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