Apparently, McDonald’s used to have a Szechuan dipping sauce, which they debuted to coincide with the release of the Disney movie Mulan:
And now that Disney is doing a live-action remake (scheduled to come out next year), people are asking them to reintroduce the yummy sauce.
— Daniel (@WonderboltsFTW) April 2, 2017
McDonald’s has been coy about whether they will actually bring back the fan favorite, but M. J. Randolph over at Truth Revolt says that there has been controversy over the sauce. Writer Yasmin Tayag says it’s racist. “Sichuan (the traditional spelling) is just one of the country’s 34 provinces — but it’s obvious that this instance of cultural and culinary reductionism doesn’t seem to hold as much weight. It’s not hard to imagine why,” she writes.
Just me or is this not that obvious? She goes on:
That’s like asking an American what Southern sauce is — it isn’t anything. Sichuan province (which actually wasn’t recognized formally until the year 1286, well after Hua Mulan), with its spice-filled complex flavor profiles that include gustatory sensations like tingling numbness from Sichuan peppercorns and fiery heat from New World chilis, has a number of sauces, none of which are singularly representative of the region.
And then makes this point:
Rick and Morty fans deserve to have their appetites for this now-mythical sauce sated, but not in relation to a live-action remake based on real Chinese folklore and cuture. Asian-Americans already suffer from consistently one-dimensional portrayals in the media and only rarely get the opportunity to educate others about the differences between entire Asian nations, let alone nuances within an individual culture. Ultimately, what the Szechuan sauce effect does is flatten cultures that Western society deems too complex, too other to consider more carefully, and Asians have too often fallen victim to that judgment.
Good grief, it must be exhausting to be a liberal, always getting mad over everything. As MJ Randolph at Truth Revolt said, “It sounds like another instance of a liberal looking down her nose at what normal Americans do — run into McDonald’s for a quick bite, not a lesson on Chinese history or on the cultural nuances of various regional foods. No amount of liberal hand-wringing will change that.”
Photo Credit: Common Dreams