IKEA has been accused of cultural appropriation after adding to their menu “jerk chicken with rice and peas,” as the traditional Caribbean dish has been made with the wrong ingredients.
The dish consists of half a chicken with lots of jerk seasoning.
The chicken is served with white rice and garden peas while the traditional Jamaican dish is made with pigeon peas or kidney beans and typically cooked in coconut milk and topped with spring onions.
The response has upset many customers commenting how they are “b**********g traditional dishes.”
The retailer has issued an apology following the controversy, outlining that they never meant to cause offense.
“IKEA is a Swedish home furnishing company with a much-loved food offer. We take inspiration from many countries around the world and have always worked to combine different flavors and ingredients to offer delicious, healthy and affordable dishes. We’re aware that our new jerk chicken, served with rice and peas has created some conversation and in some cases [offense.] Our intention was to create a dish for many people to enjoy but we appreciate that we may have got it wrong.”
Lorena Lourido, Country Food Manger for IKEA UK and Ireland also told Metro that they were aware the dish had created conversation and, in some cases, caused offense.
“Our intention was to create a dish for many people to enjoy but we appreciate that we may have got it wrong. We apologise and we are now re-looking at the dish.”