Nutty (ex) professor: Israelis eat hummus and falafel as a “project of erasure” and a “promise of genocide” to Palestinians

Talk about intersectionality: here’s what happens when anti-Zionism combines with the Regressive Left’s abhorrence of cultural appropriation. Result: a long and looney disquisition on how Israelis are using hummus to “erase” the Palestinians.

You may remembe Steven Salaita, a professor embroiled in a big academic scandal three years ago. Salaita, of Palestinian and Jordanian ancestry, had risen to a tenured professorship of literature at Virginia Tech, and then was interviewed for a faculty position in American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UI). Salaita was offered that job, but it was controversial because Salaita had, on Twitter, made several statements that could be considered anti-Semitic. They’re pretty dire, like this one (a New York Times article gives several more):

Apparently some donors and students objected, and although Salaita was selected for the job, the trustees of the University apparently refused to offer it to him. Salaita, who had resigned from his Virginia Tech position, was thus jobless.Forty-one UI department heads supported his hiring, but it was to no avail: he didn’t get the job. Salaita sued UI, winning more than $800,000.

I remember at the time that although I took strong issue with Salaita’s tweets and his position on Israel and Palestine, I took even stronger issue with UI’s not giving him the job. If he was the best qualified scholar, as everyone thought he was, then his private views on Zionism, Israel, and Palestine, no matter how abhorrent, were his private views, and shouldn’t bar him from the job. Only if they later impinged on his scholarship or teaching should the University examine his behavior. But he never got that chance.

In the end, UI was censured by the American Association of University Professors, and Salaita was offered the Edward W. Said Chair of American Studies at the American University of Beirut. Wikipedia reports that he didn’t hold that job for long:

Salaita’s position at the University of Beirut was not renewed due to some inconsistencies in his hiring. The university stated it was due to “procedural irregularities”. In 2017, Salaita announced that he is leaving academia because no institution will hire him for full time work.

Since the UI affair, Salaita wrote one book about his personal travails and dropped off my radar. But he reappeared today when Malgorzata called my attention to an article by Salaita in The New Arab about Israelis’ appetite for food like falafel, hummus, and shawarma. Although the New York Times‘s Bari Weiss applauded this kind of culinary borrowing in an article I discussed previously, Salaita is incensed by this passage from Weiss, who is Jewish:

“Consider the simple act of eating a meal in an era of cultural purity. This weekend I had dinner in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, cooked by a Palestinian who was raised in Israel where her brother served in Parliament. Yet her restaurant is billed as Lebanese. And she accents her traditional dishes with herbs – cilantro, basil – that would never be found on a plate in the Levant. But if proponents of cultural purity had their way, I’d have spent the evening cordoned on the Upper West Side watching “Yentl” and eating gefilte fish.”

Well, Salaita isn’t having that kind of cultural appropriation, and in his article “Israeli’ hummis is theft, not appropriation,” he vehemently attacks the Israelis fondness for Middle Eastern food. It’s not just that Israelis like hummus and falafel (the falafel sandwich was in fact invented in Israel), it’s that they claim either that these are “national dishes” or “invented in Israel.” But he gives no example of anyone claiming Israeli invention—hummus is in fact centuries old, and probably created in Egypt; and as for falafel or hummus being Israel’s “national dish”, that may in fact be true in terms of popularity, but the government doesn’t make that claim.

What happened with both foods, as far as I can see, is that they have been eaten by Jews and Arabs in the Middle East for hundreds or thousands of years—long before there was a Palestine, or even before Islam arrived in the Middle East. (Remember that Jews lived throughout the area, not just in what is present-day Israel.) The foods were were appreciated by everyone, including Jews whose ancestors lived there forever as well as new arrivals after World War II. It was largely Israelis who proceeded to market hummus and falafel throughout the world, giving these dishes a much broader popularity than they had before.

Remember too that these foods and others mentioned are not “Palestinian”, but eaten throughout the Middle East.  To Salaita, that’s not fair—as if countries like Egypt, Syria, or Lebanon didn’t have the chance to export or popularize falafel! No, Salaita has to see this not as just cultural appropriation, but cultural theft—and worse! Ethnic cleansing!

As he says:

Weiss knows, or should know, that the controversy about Israel’s appropriation of Palestinian food – most infamously its claim to hummus [JAC: Palestine has no exclusive claim to hummus!], a lucrative product in Europe and North America – has nothing to do with Jews eating Arabic food. In fact, it has nothing to do with Jews at all. That ludicrous idea is possible only because Zionists aggressively conflate Jewishness with Israel.

Instead, it has everything to do with a deliberate, decades-old programme to disappear Palestinians. Referencing Arab defensiveness about traditional dishes without mentioning colonisation or ethnic cleansing is a whitewash.

And it’s not just a whitewash, but genocide! Salaita continues his tirade:

When Zionists (or their oblivious collaborators) claim Arabic food as Israeli, it’s not a paragon of intercultural harmony but the studious destruction of Palestinian culture. We can mitigate ambiguity by avoiding the word “appropriation,” which doesn’t adequately capture the dynamics of Israel’s voracious appetite for anything that can be marked “Indigenous,” which it needs to shore up an ever-tenuous sense of legitimacy.

“Theft” is more accurate. It is also rhetorically superior. Discourses of modernity exalt cultural interchange, but no good liberal supports piracy.

. . . It’s no shock, then, that Palestinians and their neighbours get salty whenever hearing the phrase “Israeli hummus.” Using Arabic food as a symbol of Zionist identity hands over the day-to-day victuals of the native to the coloniser. It’s a project of erasure, a portent of nonexistence, a promise of genocide.

This is like The Culinary Protocols of the Elders of Zion, summoning the vision of a pack of conniving Jews deciding to dominate the world by taking over the hummus trade, and getting rid of the Palestinians in the process. It would be laughable were not Salaita deadly serious. And I’m sure he’ll find his followers, for people hate Israel that much.

Salaiti’s main objection seems to be to applying the adjective “Israeli” to these foods, even though I have no idea how often that’s done. (Note that Weiss’s piece, which enrages him, doesn’t even do that!) But it’s sheer insanity to call that cultural theft, much less a project to erase Palestinians and colonize their land. It’s no more theft and erasure than is the phrase “Chicago pizza” an attempt to debase Italians and “erase” them en masse. Nor do I see falafel or hummus or any of the other Middle Eastern foods being adopted as “symbols of Zionist identity”. Israelis (a nationality that includes many Arabs) just like the damn stuff! As do I.

And if Israelis did manage to popularize falafel and hummus worldwide, then good for them. Those are tasty foods and healthy ones as well. They do not serve as symbols of Zionism for Israelis or Americans—or anyone save an unhinged and disaffected anti-Israel professor. Ask yourself this: is Palestine (much less Egypt, Syria, or Lebanon) being hurt by Israeli’s widespread consumption and marketing of these foods? I don’t think so, as Palestine and the other Middle Eastern countries have long had the opportunity to popularize them.

I objected when Salaita was denied the job at UI. When he lost the job in Beirut, it was a sign that maybe something wasn’t right with the man, but I didn’t give it much thought. But now that he’s given to unhinged ravings in Arab media, like the disgraced loon C. J. W*rl*m*n, Salaita is either revealing his true colors or has been driven mad by ill treatment. If it’s the latter, I feel sorry for him, as I was a supporter in his UIC battle.

But I can’t say I’m behind him in his claim that Israelis’ love of Middle Eastern food—and the unsubstantiated assertion that that food is promoted as “Israeli”—are examples of cultural theft as well as harbingers of genocide. As Steely Dan wrote, “Only a fool would say that.”

A project of erasure, a portent of nonexistence, a promise of genocide? Naah, just hummus.


  1. Posted September 5, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    My local Walmart sells a delicious chili curry black bean hummus with jalapeños that I absolutely love to eat with fried wontons.

    Me disappearing all the cultures.

    • tubby
      Posted September 5, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      This sounds unbelievably delicious.

    • Jeremy Tarone
      Posted September 5, 2017 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      Next time I see a crumbled Statue of Liberty on the beach, I’ll curse your name for your part in the downfall of civilization.

    • Andrew B.
      Posted September 5, 2017 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      That’s offensive. Everyone knows that hummus is a traditional Honduran dish, not Mexican or Chinese.

  2. dabertini
    Posted September 5, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Is there any wonder why the Middle East is in the state that it is in?

  3. Posted September 5, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    This will only be resolved by some brilliant food-peace maker; some cross between Jimmy Carter and Gordon Ramsey.
    As a first step perhaps the Israelis could call it “Arab Hummus’ in return for Palestinians agreeing to never eat bagels.

    • Posted September 5, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink


    • Norbert Francis
      Posted September 5, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Send in Special Envoy Anthony Bourdain. Wonder why the nutty professor is EX. This story should be funny.

    • BJ
      Posted September 5, 2017 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      If we really want to solve the Israel-Palestine issue, we’ll lock all the leaders in a room with Ramsay and refuse to let them out until they come to terms. Eventually, everybody will just decide peace is preferable than another moment of being yelled at.

  4. Posted September 5, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Sheer insanity. Well yah, Israelis like Middle Eastern food. Seeing how they actually live in the Middle East, that’s neither problematic nor surprising. And if they’re better at selling the stuff to the rest of the world than their neighbors, good for them.
    What’s next? Complaints that white people are the majority in many parts of the US? Oh wait, we had that already…

    • Kiwi Dave
      Posted September 5, 2017 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      And if they expand the market for ME food, that creates extra opportunities for Israel’s neighbours to compete in that market – everybody wins.

      A former colleague of South American origin, long before cultural appropriation became a popular term, once expressed considerable indignation at Simon and Garfunkel’s El Condor Pasa. I should have told her that I liked it so much it was my gateway to Andean music of which I now had a modest collection, mostly by indigenous artists.

  5. DrBrydon
    Posted September 5, 2017 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    I am still puzzled after all this time about UIC hiring a specialist in Palestinian studies as a professor in the American Indian Studies Program. Clearly UIC felt there was some cross-cultural aspect to the Indian and Palestinian experiences, but it came across to me as emptying Indian studies of anything unique and relevant. I certainly don’t need a professor to tell me Indians were oppressed.

    • Doug
      Posted September 5, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      I was going to suggest that it is cultural appropriation for a Palestinian to teach American Indian studies.

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted September 5, 2017 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps they were hoping to do an update on the Mormon version of history, this time with Palestinians coming to North America.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted September 6, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        That was my first thought too.

    • Zia
      Posted September 5, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      No to defend him, but he completed his Ph.D. at the University of Oklahoma in Native American studies with a literature emphasis (wiki). Si I guess from the credential side his is (or was a good fit.

  6. Paul S
    Posted September 5, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I find an American Indian Studies Program insulting as I do African Studies. You can no more lump all American Indians or Africans into singular categories than you could all Europeans.

    • Posted September 5, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Why do you presume such programs lump all of those denizens together? Not only is the idea bizarre, but my experience in academia was that we tended to beak a topic into as many pieces as possible, never to try to describe a topic with the fewest possible descriptors.

      • Paul S
        Posted September 5, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        Point being, I’ve never heard of a broad category such as European Studies, it would be ridiculous.

        • Posted September 5, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

          We do have courses in American studies at British universities. My niece did one.

          • Posted September 5, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

            Does the sillabus lump modern Quebec with the Incas?

            • Posted September 5, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

              Can’t say about Unis in the U.K. but here are majors people can study at the University of Washington here in Seattle;

              Asian History
              European History
              Latin American & Caribbean History
              Middle Eastern & African History
              United States & Canadian History
              Comparative and Transregional Global History

              In addition, the University offers what are called “thematic” majors in;

              History of Empire and Colonialism
              History of Religion and Society
              History of Race, Gender, and Power
              History of War and Society

              I fail to see a problem with any of this (but that’s just me) and I can’t speak to contents of any syllabi but I don’t understand why anyone would find a History of Native Americans or History of Africans to be “insulting”. Of course there is huge variety within the disciplines, just as there is when studying Asian history or European history or Latin-American…etc.

            • Posted September 5, 2017 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

              Well I doubt that they are lumped together. It may be possible to do modules in each. But really I don’t know. I should also say (and I’ve only just remembered this) that we do university courses in European Studies too, because my wife did one! My point was that it’s not necessarily reductive or over-simplifying to study a rich and diverse area with a long and varied history – presumably there are patterns, relationships, reciprocal influences, convergences and divergences etc to tease out and study.

        • Posted September 5, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

          So it’s just the name you object to not the discipline itself?

          I have to say, it’s an odd thing to find insulting.

          • Paul S
            Posted September 5, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

            A peccadillo, my son is a member of The Citizen Potawatomi Nation.

            • Posted September 5, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

              Ah we all have them. Some of mine are pretty petty. I understand better. Thanks.

        • Posted September 7, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

          We may not have a course or series of courses categorized as European Studies, but that is predominantly what we are taught, and it is ridiculous. How many of us have been taught about the Mongols, Khazars, Russia, Ukraine, the “Stans”, African high civilizations (like Sheba or Saaba), numerous oriental civilizations, civilizations of the so-called Americas? We may learn about these peripherally connected with European and Mediterranean history. They are important to know about in their own right.

      • Paul S
        Posted September 5, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        Apologies. I’ve just learned that some universities have a department European Studies as opposed to Central / Eastern / Northern or broken down by country / culture / religion.

        • somer
          Posted September 5, 2017 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

          Ive often heard of departments of European studies.

  7. Posted September 5, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    We used to keep such people around cutting the grass in the backyard. Like atheists, though, they are standing up for their right to say what they think. I would rather know what they think than have them stewing in their own juices. If others are swayed by such lunacies, that is on them not the purveyor of of the Hummus Weapon.

    • Jeremy Tarone
      Posted September 5, 2017 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Hummus: a Weapon of Mass Digestion.

      • Paul S
        Posted September 5, 2017 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        English, Irish or Mediterranean, mushy peas are a vile comestible.

    • somer
      Posted September 5, 2017 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

      too often the hyper sensitivity about cultural appropriation is a load of old humus.

  8. BJ
    Posted September 5, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    The man does a great job demonstrating that a lot of anti-Israel sentiment is, in fact, rooted in antisemitism.

    • Craw
      Posted September 5, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      So your theory is he lost his job due to redundancy?

      • Posted September 5, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        Ha! Good one!

        I LOL’d; a colleague leaned over from her desk to wonder what I was laughing about.

      • BJ
        Posted September 5, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        Hahaha brilliant 🙂

  9. TJR
    Posted September 5, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Note how he talks about “arabic food”.

    Did these foods not exist before the arab invasion, or did the arabs just appropriate them?

  10. Kevin
    Posted September 5, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Original hummus with honey on apple tort.

    Red pepper hummus and pureed eggplant spread on grilled salmon over saffron risotto.

    Hummus on naan with aloo matar.

    And hummus on Sonic bacon-cheeseburger.

    Been there. Done that. If anyone has a problem with my hummus use, they can talk to my cats…the only members of my family who do not like hummus.

    • harrync
      Posted September 5, 2017 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

      You left off “Supremely Spicy Hummus”, my favorite. Oh my, I think that not only makes me a Zionist pig, but an appropriator of Hispanic culture. [About half my ancestors were Irish, about half English; yes, we can all get along – per the late Rodney king, my favorite philosopher.] In penance to the Hispanic appropriation, I am active in a group here in Western North Carolina – “Dream Scholarships.” We try to make up some of the difference between the in-state tuition they should pay, and the out-of-state tuition they are charged because they are not documented. This group includes most main-stream religions from Unitarians to Catholics – yes, we get along too. One guess as to which main-steam denomination is missing from this group.

  11. Liz
    Posted September 5, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    This was enlightening. Thought hummus was Greek. I do have serious concerns about what Chicago is going to try and do to prosciutto, zuppa di pesce, and eggplant parm.

  12. Malgorzata
    Posted September 5, 2017 at 1:12 pm | Permalink


  13. Posted September 5, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    We are all hummus now.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted September 5, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Soon to be humus, as someone I know once pronounced it.

      • BJ
        Posted September 5, 2017 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        Hoo-mooz? Hoo-mooss?

        • Posted September 9, 2017 at 7:17 am | Permalink

          Of course, these kind of food were in ordinary use much before Islam and the Arabs invasion from Arabia to the upper Near East and Northern Africa. There they have got acquaintance with local food, vegetable, and fruits.

  14. davidintoronto
    Posted September 5, 2017 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    This could be the answer:

  15. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted September 5, 2017 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Pizza was invented in Italy, but did not really take off in popularity until it came to the United States. First introduced to the US in 1905, it was after World War II, that American vets who had been in Italy really promoted pizza.

    Thus from one point of view, pizza is a quintessentially American food, but we all acknowledge it is Italian in origin.

    • Posted September 5, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Other quintessential American foods, like hot dogs and apple pie, did not originate in the U.S. either. The hamburger, however, likely did.

      So all you non-USans here on WEIT, put down those burgers now!

    • eric
      Posted September 5, 2017 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      from one point of view, pizza is a quintessentially American food

      Tomatoes are a new world crop while wheat is an old world crop, so the standard red pizza as we know and love it today is quintessentially cross-cultural. Neither continent came up with it on their own, because before 1492 that was a historical impossibility.

      • Posted September 6, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        I had a highschool classmate who claimed his (Italian background) family’s tomato sauce dated from the 14th century. Uh, no. 🙂

  16. Ken Phelps
    Posted September 5, 2017 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    “It’s no more theft and erasure than is the phrase ‘Chicago pizza’ an attempt to debase Italians…”

    Well, based on the comments about Chicago style pizza I’ve heard from New Yorkers, this may not be a universally held sentiment.

    • Liz
      Posted September 5, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      I commented on this earlier very sarcastically. While I haven’t had Chicago style pizza in Chicago yet, I’m almost sure I’ll determine I like New York pizza better. It’s difficult to get decent pizza, bagels, or subs anywhere outside of a 40 mile radius of New York City. Chicago probably has good but different pizza, though.

  17. Posted September 5, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    This UIC grad thinks there needs to be a correction made. My understanding is that he was going to be teaching at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, UIUC, not UIC. The Wikipedia link above seems to bear out my recollection: “In 2013 Salaita was invited to interview for an academic appointment with the AIS program (American Indian Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).”

  18. kelskye
    Posted September 5, 2017 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Notions like cultural appropriation really show their absurdity when arguing over the origins of food. Whether the Israelis, the Lebanese, or the Syrians invented hummus, what matters now is our shared enjoyment of the delicious chickpea concoction.

    Funnily enough, the only way I learnt of Hummus being an Israeli dish was the outrage over it being called an Israeli dish. Hummus before then was just a delicious thing to dip Lebanese bread into.

    • eric
      Posted September 5, 2017 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Funnily enough, the only way I learnt of Hummus being an Israeli dish was the outrage over it being called an Israeli dish.

      Yes me too. I would never have thought to associate it specifically with Israel…until Salaita complained about people doing that. He’s got a bit of a Streisand Effect going.

    • Carey Haug
      Posted September 5, 2017 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      My first clue of its association with Israel was seeing the brand name Sabra.

  19. James Walker
    Posted September 5, 2017 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Tangential to the discussion, but a friend of mine was in a Jewish restaurant in Toronto with his three-year-old daughter, who enjoyed the hummus so much that she cried out for more. Unfortunately her pronunciation was a bit off so she ended up calling out what sounded like “More Hamas! More Hamas!”

  20. Adam M.
    Posted September 5, 2017 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    To me, saying “Israeli hummus” – if people actually do that – implies that normal hummus is not Israeli. So I don’t see why that upsets him. I’m sure Israelis make some hummus!

  21. Posted September 6, 2017 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    It is a weird thing to go ‘nutty’ over hummus
    I agree, there cannot be much going on on his planet, his claims are disturbingly bazaar.

  22. Posted September 6, 2017 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    As a Scot, I can’t understand why no other country has yet appropriated haggis.


    • Posted September 6, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      As someone with two Scottish names, let me say: I don’t blame them!

      There are three foods I categorically will not eat: haggis, fugu, and “long pig”.

  23. Posted September 6, 2017 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Who’s appropriating whom? The online Oxford English Dictionary gives the etymology of hummus as Turkish. If you have a subscription – available in communist god-lite England, also home of the National Health Service, free at the point of use if you have a public library ticket – check it out at

    I’m feeling so much more enlightened now that I know chickpeas are a tool of oppression. As a London boy, even with loads of northern English connections through family, friends and education, I now wonder if I really ought to be cooking Yorkshire pudding and Lancashire hotpot without a permit from the kitchen police.

  24. kieran
    Posted September 6, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink Bruno trying to solve the middle earth

  25. Posted September 6, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    This version is crazy, all right, but there is actually a more defensible version of the thesis lost in the noise, unfortunately. (And I’d say Salaita, here, is contributing most of that drown-out.)

    There’s a case before the Canadian courts concerning country of origin labels for prepared items, in this case for wine. The situation is this: the wine in question is from the West Bank. Uh oh. 🙂 I actually agree with the principle that this should not be labeled (as it, in fact, is) as from Israel, if only to be consistent with Canadian policy related to the situation more generally. One can disagree with my assessment of the result, but I think it is fair to say that this sort of situation is trickier and far more important.

    Also, if one wants to see a Wiki-war, just start editing national origins of foods. Dumplings, rice, pita, gyro, soy sauce, curry, biryani, pilaf, etc. are all pretty bizarre that way. “But in its original form it is from …”

    (I only find it *historically* interesting, like how the Portuguese brought SA spices to India and locals created curry. A tri-origin wonder! But that’s from a book I read recently – not Wikipedia.)

  26. fizziks
    Posted September 6, 2017 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I have often said, and it is entirely true, that I would be open to considering a reasonable anti-Israel perspective. However I have never, ever, actually encountered one. Instead, everyone who is anti-Israel, to a person, is ridiculous, and makes ridiculous arguments like this ‘hummus is cultural genocide against indigenous brown people’ one.

    I am forced to conclude that there is, in fact, no reasonable, legitimate, non-ridiculous anti-Israel argument out there. If there was someone would be making it, instead of vomiting out trash like what this Salaita comes up with.

  27. Posted September 7, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    As a lifelong avid collector of cookbooks and recipes from all parts of the world, I enjoy thinking of them humming along peacefully together in the bookcase or recipe boxes and, occasionally, committing the sin of creating cross-cultural dishes.

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