Claudia Roden was interviewed selectively to support this position which is interesting because the history of British cookery writing can be reductively divided between the contribution by British Cookery writers beginning in the early 1940’s with rationing and the foreign born cookery writers who teased Britain out of its provincial culinary mind set in the 1960’s. The two writers most responsible for the latter were Madhur Jaffrey, an Indian actress and Hindu food writer who introduced the Western world to the diverse cuisines of India (and she, unlike the Muslim, Shappi, credits everyone) and similarly, the Jewish Claudia Roden, born in Egypt and best known as the author of ‘Middle Eastern’ cookbooks who again never attempted to compartmentalise cookery as the inheritance of any one people.
How interesting that the BBC could so shamelessly broadcast a solid sixty minutes of documentary propaganda which was clearly an outrageous, prejudiced attempt to define Britain’s acceptance of diverse culinary traditions as solely Islamic. The stated conclusion was that the weakening of ethnocentricity in Britain is part of the Muslim inheritance that defines its universal contribution to society.
This programme was no less than cultural rape.
The BBC should be ashamed, but it won’t be. I am sure it is patting itself on the back for yet one more obsequious and toadying biopic of historical revisionism.