Indians take their curry pretty seriously, and American humour columnist Gene Weingarten can vouch for that. Weingarten was forced to issue an apology after he tried to mock Indian cuisine by claiming it was based on on one spice, drawing the wrath of many including Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi on the Internet. The Washington Post, which published the opinion piece ‘You can’t make me eat these foods’, also issued a correction.

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“India’s vastly diverse cuisines use many spice blends and include many other types of dishes,” it said. Weingarten, while writing about the foods he refuses to eat, such as hazelnuts and anchovies, also took potshots at Indian food. “The Indian subcontinent has vastly enriched the world, giving us chess, buttons, the mathematical concept of zero, shampoo, modern-day nonviolent political resistance, Chutes and Ladders, the Fibonacci sequence, rock candy, cataract surgery, cashmere, USB ports … and the only ethnic cuisine in the world insanely based entirely on one spice,” he wrote.

He quipped that people who think Indian curries taste like “something that could knock a vulture off a meat wagon,” could not possibly like Indian food. “It is as though the French passed a law requiring every dish to be slathered in smashed, pureed snails. (I’d personally have no problem with that, but you might, and I would sympathize.)”

Following massive outrage online, Weingarten took to Twitter to issue an apology, saying he had sounded like a “whining infantile ignorant d—head” in the article. He also corrected himself, saying “curries are spice blends, not spices.”

Indian-American author and TV personality Padma Lakshmi slammed the article as “lazy and racist,” and accused Weingarten of regurgitating “old colonizer tropes, gleefully reducing the culture and country of 1.3 billion people to a (frankly) weak punchline.”

Weingarten’s opinion piece also elicited scathing reactions from thousands of netizens.