Jamie Oliver's 'punchy jerk rice' accused of 'cultural appropriation'

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Richard Pallot

It was out of the frying pan and into the fire for Jamie Oliver, after one of his latest creations resulted in him being accused of "cultural appropriation".

The offending item is rice, or rather, "punchy jerk rice".

Except it doesn't contain the staples of a jerk marinade: Scotch bonnet chillies or allspice, leading MP Dawn Butler to accuse the celebrity chef of using the term "jerk" to "sell products" and of "appropriation from Jamaica".

Jerk seasoning was developed by Jamaican slaves to preserve their meat.

While others were angered less than the Brent MP, they did argue that it couldn't really be "jerk rice" if it doesn't contain the recipe's "intellectual property".

Chef Levi Roots explained: "It's like saying you're giving me chicken soup, but it's got beef in it, or no chicken.

"If you're saying 'jerk' it's got to include the flavour, or be cooked with the flavour."

Chef Levi Roots likened the rice to 'chicken soup with no chicken'. Credit: ITV News

Meanwhile, members of a Caribbean community in south London who tried the rice said it tasted "a bit like shepherd's pie mix", while another said they'd "eat it, but it's missing the jerk".

Another said nothing but turned around to spit it out.

Jamie Oliver said the product had been named after the recipes that inspired him. Credit: PA

In response to the criticism, oliver said he named his new product "punchy jerk rice" to show where he drew his culinary inspiration from.

He added: "I've worked with flavours and spices from all over the world my whole career, learning and drawing inspiration from different countries and cultures to give a fresh twist to the food we eat every day.

"When I named the rice my intention was only to show where my inspiration came from."

Many took to social media to make their feelings on the contentious matter known.

While some agreed that it wasn't really "jerk" rice...

Others were less bothered by what the millionaire chef named his products.