‘Great British Bake Off’ Had a ‘Japanese Week’ Episode and Many Mistakes Were Made

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The first day of “The Great British Bake Off” for its 11th season was off to a rocky start after many social media users called the show out for being culturally insensitive during its “Japanese Week.”

What happened: The Oct. 27 episode was the first for the show’s Japanese Week where contestants were tasked to create dishes inspired by traditional Japanese cuisine, according to The Independent.

  • Each contestant was required to go through three different challenges, which included signature, layered technical and showstopper — the latter requiring them to make something “kawaii” or cute in Japanese, Radio Times reported.
  • Confusion ensued when the show asked the contestants to make eight steamed buns, a dish originating from China, for the signature challenge, Eater London recapped.
  • The contestants exchanged Japanese flavors for Indian ingredients, such as turmeric, and Chinese stir-fry flavors.
  • Baker Hermine, one of the seven contestants remaining, shaped her steamed buns into pandas for her showstopper. Two other contestants took inspiration from American cheeseburgers.

Online outrage: Several viewers took to social media to express their outrage on how “The Great British Bake Off” veered away from the Japanese-inspired culinary challenges.

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  • Naoko Mori, who appeared in BBC’s “Doctor Who” spin-off “Torchwood,” called the episode “ignorant and racist.”

  • Twitter user Emily Emmott listed several traditional Japanese dishes the contestants could have baked during the episode, including melonpan, furuutsu sando, mushi pan and others more.

Feature Image via Netflix

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