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Karen Taylor, who claimed to be the "Queen of Congee," is under fire after critics accused her of cultural appropriation.
In a now-updated blog post, she said her brand Breakfast Cure sold a "modernized adaption" of the dish "that doesn't seem foreign."
The company has since apologized, saying they "fell short of supporting and honoring the Asian American community."
A white woman from Oregon who dubbed herself the "Queen of Congee" apologized after receiving criticism for cultural appropriation. But her company continues to sell what they claim to be an "improved" version of the Asian dish.
Karen Taylor of Eugene, Oregon, founded her brand, Breakfast Cure, in 2017, which sells premade packets of "congee" flavors, including apple cinnamon and mango and sticky rice.
In a blog on the breakfast brand's website titled "How I discovered the miracle of congee and improved it," Taylor, who was a student of Chinese medicine in Santa Fe, New Mexico, wrote how she first came across the Asian rice porridge more than two decades ago, adding that the Breakfast Cure is a "modern adaptation" of it.
"I've spent a lot of time modernizing it for the West pallet (sic) - making a congee that you can eat and find delicious and that doesn't seem foreign, but delivers all of the medicinal healing properties of this ancient recipe," a now-deleted line of the blog post read.
Last week, Taylor came under fire as critics accuse the company of culturally appropriating and white-washing the traditionally Asian dish.
"Like a broken record, I must say that it's unbelievably annoying to see white people 'interpret' cultures of millions and billions of living people like they're archeologists (sic)," Chinese-American writer Frankie Huang wrote on Twitter. "Being treated like we are dead makes me want to lie down."
Huang went on to say that she didn't take issue as much with the price of the premade congee - $15 a pack - and said people can "eat whatever they want and boiling grain is not a Chinese thing." But she noted that the issue lies in "their Chinese culture-centered marketing that's super rude."
Asian American blogger Jenn Fang also condemned the marketing of the traditional dish, saying congee "isn't just 'boiled rice,'" and that it "contains some specific and traditional flavor profiles one shouldn't just totally ignore; and certainly not treat as bizarre or unappetizing."
"It's definitely offensive for anyone trying to 'reinterpret' congee to do so by framing the traditional version as gross and icky, and that their 'reinterpretations' will save it in some way by making it better or easier for white folks," Fang tweeted.
The Breakfast Cure has since apologized and amended the problematic language of the blog post, acknowledging they "fell short of supporting and honoring the Asian American community and for that, we are deeply sorry."
"We take full responsibility for any language on our website or in our marketing and have taken immediate steps to remedy that and educate ourselves, revising our mission to not just creating delicious breakfast meals, but becoming a better ally for the AAPI community," the company said in a Tuesday statement posted to Instagram.
The most recent version of the blog post, now titled "How I discovered the miracle of congee," called Breakfast Cure's products an "adaptation" of congee and simplified the language to say Taylor "spent years creating flavors based on porridge from around the world."
Read the original article on Insider