Of all the Americans out there who’d make the mistake of confusing jackfruits with durians, you’d think Martha Stewart would know better.
On the lifestyle site belonging to the domestic queen, celebrity chef, and Snoop Dogg’s homegirl, an image of a spiky durian was used as a visual for a piece on jackfruit, and how it can be a substitute for meat. An easy enough blunder spotted by Southeast Asians, but a grave mistake for anyone who’d actually go out and use the awesomely stanky durian flesh in provided recipes such as Italian pasta sauce, Asian curries and barbecued “pulled pork”.
To be fair to the lifestyle guru, the article is not even written by her, with the byline showing “From the Editors at Strive” — Strive being a health and wellness brand associated with Stewart. The gaffe is a simple editorial oversight, of course, but it shows the unfamiliarity of the writers with the very subject of their story. You’re writing about the taste profile of jackfruits and its benefits but you don’t know how it actually looks like? Egads.
The blunder did not go unnoticed to the people who’d defend the reputation of durian to their deaths — Singaporeans and Malaysians. Martha Stewart herself got called out personally on social media, with some folks getting so offended to the point of demanding for more diversity in her editorial team.
Dear @MarthaStewart, these are not jackfruits. These are durian. Come to Southeast Asia and see for yourself. One whiff and you’ll never mix them up again. https://t.co/mYejiTvAyB pic.twitter.com/K4OdPrvywS
— Kirsten Han 韩俐颖 (@kixes) September 10, 2018
#EpicFail . How can the DOMESTIC QUEEN @MarthaStewart write an article about using jack fruit as a substitute for meat but use a picture of durian? How hard is it to #Google image “J A C K F R U I T”? Can these celebrity #white folks get our SE Asian fruits correct? #Asian pic.twitter.com/2aZZcdqNkU
— ThisAsianWomanSays (@echewy) September 10, 2018
Hey, @MarthaStewart, do you need to diversify your writing staff? It looks like it’s time. I would’ve never made the mistake of misidentifying durian for jackfruit. #DiverseWritersWanted https://t.co/F9mbXn89ow
— Veronica the MVP (@WriteRonni) September 10, 2018
The backlash caused the Strive team to take down the image of the durian from the piece. “We regret the error,” they simply wrote.